Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding

'The message they give us is the exact opposite of the reality, they're acting like they're part of our community,' he said

Russell Brand has gone one step further in his condemnation of the Israel-Gaza conflict than simply critiquing the way various media outlets have approached coverage.

Now, the comedian is urging banks, pension funds and other big businesses to sever investment ties with Israel, or any deals that he feels “facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza”.

Using Barclays as an example, he said the bank manages “the portfolios of an Israeli defence company called Elbit, which makes the drones that bomb Gaza.”

"The message they give us is the exact opposite of the reality, they're acting like they're part of our community," he said during his new episode of The Trews, which you can watch below.

"But if we're aware of the reality of what they do, then we have the power to influence them."

He went on to encourage his viewers to sign a petition on the Avaaz campaign website, to put pressure on companies such as Barclays, computer company HP, security giants G4S, pension fund ABP and heavy machinery Caterpillar brand to rethink their investments.

 

So far, it has amassed almost 1.7million signatures of support.

"In the wake of the terrible violence unfolding in Israel-Palestine, we, citizens from around the world, are deeply concerned about your companies’ continued investment in companies and projects that finance illegal settlements and the oppressive occupation of the Palestinian people," the mission statement on the petition reads.

"17 EU countries recently issued warnings to their citizens against doing business or investing in illegal Israeli settlements. Given those legal considerations, you now have the opportunity to withdraw investments and respect international law. This is a chance to be on the right side of history."

Some of the firms listed in the petition had previously spoken of their decision to maintain financial ties in Israel.

HP claimed that "respecting human rights is a core value" of their business and said that they used Israeli checkpoints to allow people to "get to their place of work or to carry out their business in a faster and safer way".

 

Meanwhile, Caterpillar said that while it "shares the world's concern over unrest in the Middle East", it doesn’t believe it has “neither the legal right nor the means to police individual use of its equipment”.

Brand’s comments come after the business secretary Vince Cable threatened to halt 12 export licences to Israel if the violence in Gaza resumes, including components for combat aircraft, tanks and radar systems.

The government have, however, exported £42million of military equipment to Israel since 2010.

Read More: Russell Brand Accuses Sean Hannity Of Terrorism
What Russell Brand Makes Of Scottish Independence
'SEAN HANNITY IS AN IDIOT' CROWD-FUNDING GATHERS PACE

 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her in Latakia
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report