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Kuehne+Nagel Terminates Partnership with Elbit Systems, Ending Arms Trade Links

Due to mounting pressure from rights activists, Kuehne+Nagel (K+N), a prominent transportation and logistics company, has announced the termination of all business ties with Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest weapons manufacturer. The decision, conveyed to Palestine Action via email, marks a pivotal step in the ongoing campaign urging companies to sever connections with Elbit.

Palestine Action, a group advocating for Palestinian rights, has been actively targeting K+N’s offices, particularly in Leicester, with protests demanding the cessation of collaboration with Elbit. Their efforts intensified after revelations from a whistleblower within K+N unveiled the company’s longstanding contract with the Israeli company. The activists argue that companies associated with Elbit contribute to the perpetuation of violence.

In May, Palestine Action escalated their protests by forcefully entering K+N’s Leicester premises, causing property damage and leaving messages denouncing the company’s association with Elbit. Similar demonstrations have occurred at other K+N locations, including London and Milton Keynes, underscoring the breadth of discontent surrounding the issue.

K+N’s move carries substantial implications not only for the company itself but also for the broader trade landscape. As one of the six licensed entities for strategic transportation and disposal in Britain, K+N’s disassociation with Elbit disrupts the latter’s supply chain and impedes its ability to export to Israel.

Responding to inquiries, a K+N spokesperson confirmed the termination of any business or commercial relationship with Elbit Systems since the third quarter of 2023. This announcement aligns with previous actions taken by other entities, including iO Associates, Fisher German, and website hosts of Elbit’s Leicester facility, all of which have severed ties with the weapons manufacturer.

The decision underscores the growing momentum of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement aimed at pressuring companies to disengage from entities implicated in human rights violations. K+N’s stance exemplifies a corporate response to societal concerns regarding ethical partnerships, signaling a shift towards more conscientious business practices.

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