Capping a series of victories by a modest band of pro-Palestinian activists, an Israel-based shipping company has re-routed a container ship from the Port of Oakland, where protestors had vowed to keep the ship from unloading, to an alternate destination in Russia.
The company, Zim Integrated Shipping Services is one of the largest cargo shipping outfits in the world, but of late it has seen its operations seriously disrupted by a small group of activists motivated by the global Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement (BDS), which targets companies implicated in Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territories. Zim is an Israel-based company, and the “Block the Boat” movement – a combined effort of labor activists and Palestinian solidarity groups – has successfully stopped its ships from docking at Oakland ports several times since this summer.
Zim has drawn particular ire for its role in shipping Israeli armaments. In the words of Block the Boat organizer Lara Kiswani in an interview about the movement earlier this year: “…Zim also transports weaponry: Israeli-made weaponry and Israeli-made military vehicles into the United States”, adding that, “some of the more consumer-based products are not Israeli, but the weaponry and the military products are Israeli.”