Hewlett Packard (HP) is one of the biggest high-tech companies in the world, famous for making computers and printers.
One of HP’s divisions, Indigo, was once an Israeli company before it was acquired by HP in 2001. It specialises in cheap, high-quality digital printing.
Because of its presence in Israel, HP has attracted the attention of anti-Israel boycotters, including the official BDS Movement which has made HP one of its biggest corporate targets, and the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC) in the UK.
As part of the Wye River Accords, signed by Israel and the Palestinian Authority, HP helps run biometric systems at the major checkpoints between Israel and the West Bank. These biometric systems make the checkpoints easier to pass through, reducing the delay for Palestinians crossing through to Israel.
Because this involves HP working with the Israeli authorities, there is a call for a full boycott of HP even though it is helping keep Israeli Arabs and Jews safe and making the journey to Israel faster for Palestinians living in the West Bank.
On 4 June, PSC organised a national “Day of Action” against HP. This consisted of several small protests of 2 to 10 activists outside shops like PC World and John Lewis who stock HP products. It wasn’t especially impressive or dramatic; even their twitter hashtag failed to take off.
Although the Day of Action against HP had a weak launch, it is likely that this campaign will probably be PSC’s main corporate campaign in the coming months due to the amount of resource and material they tried to put into making the Day of Action happen including a section dedicated to HP on their new campaign website.