Teva factory in the UK shut down over Israel’s Gaza genocide

  • Post last modified:March 5, 2024
  • Reading time:12 mins read

Dozens of people from Youth Front for Palestine blocked Israel-owned pharmaceutical company Teva in the UK on Monday 4 March, in protest over it profiting from colonialism and genocide.

Shut it down!

From 5.30am on 4 March, over 30 people protested at the Israeli pharmaceutical company Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. Protesters were waving Palestine flags and have unfurled a banner which read “Boycott Teva Pharma! No to Apartheid Drugs!”:

The protest lasted around four hours. Cops turned up, but no arrests were made:

Teva is Israel’s biggest pharmaceutical supplier and commercial company by market value, as well as being one of the largest generic drug manufacturers in the world. It provides millions of dollars in tax revenue to the Israeli colonial regime and its military. Last year (2023), Teva paid the Israeli government $565M in taxes accrued from 2005.

This money directly funds the murder machinery used by Israeli forces to destroy Palestinian lives, and which is currently being used to slaughter tens of thousands of Palestinians after Israel launched its latest brutal and genocidal assault on Gaza.

In Britain, Teva supplies more packs of medicine to the NHS each year than anyone else – that’s around 15% of total packs of medicine in the UK.

Boycott genocide enablers

A spokesperson for Youth Front for Palestine said:

We won’t stand by while British pharmacies are being flooded with medicine tainted with Palestinian suffering and subjugation. When it comes to Israel, everything, including pharmaceuticals, is part and parcel of settler-colonialism and apartheid. Let’s not be fooled by what they market as “exceptional”, “groundbreaking” and “improving the lives of people” when it comes at the expense of an entire occupied population.”

We are calling on people to join hundreds of other pharmacies in Britain and across Europe to boycott Teva and not to sell medicine tainted with Palestinian suffering. When there are always many alternative medicines available, we should not be getting our medication from an Apartheid State, a state now committing genocide in Gaza. We should not sell medicine tainted with Palestinian suffering.

There is a long list of Teva complicity in Israel’s subjugation of the Palestinians.

Teva: complicit in genocide

In monopolising the Israeli pharmaceutical sector, Teva contributes to Israeli settler-colonialism and the apartheid regime, including settlements built on stolen Palestinian lands. The company also provides the Israeli Occupation Forces with medical supplies and donations.

Teva contributes towards Israel’s oppression of Palestinians in many other ways:

  • Teva enjoys full access to the captive Palestinian market in the West Bank and Gaza, where Palestinian pharmaceutical companies are unable to perform due to Israeli restrictions and, thus, remain dependent on the Israeli occupier for medicine.
  • The Palestinian pharmaceutical industry suffers from numerous oppressive obstacles as a direct result of the Israeli regime and its monopoly on the industry through companies like Teva, including but not limited to:
  • Palestinian pharmaceutical companies are forced to ship bulk pharmaceuticals to international pharmacy chains through Jordan with significant added costs. This is due to the Israel’s denial of drugs being shipped in bulk via Ben Gurion Airport.
  • Israel does not allow Palestinian pharmaceuticals to be distributed within occupied East Jerusalem hospitals and pharmacies, and does not allow vaccines to be given at Palestinian-run schools.
  • Palestinian representatives of large multinational companies are required to obtain a ‘non-objection’ letter from Israeli colleagues in order to receive an import license from the Israeli Ministry of Health.

Accordingly, the occupation of Palestine seeps into every crevice of daily life, including the ability of Palestinian pharmaceutical businesses and companies to function and operate without repression or restriction.

Contributing to a catastrophe

Teva is also one of the companies complicit in limiting the supply of medicines to Palestine, adding to the health burden carried by people in the occupied territories.

Israel controls the import of all raw materials and equipment into the Palestinian occupied territories. As a result, Israeli medicines, such as those manufactured and distributed by Teva, are more affordable due to the high taxes imposed by Israel on products entering the West Bank. In Gaza, this has been even more dire with Israel preventing the entry of necessary materials throughout the 16-year-old blockade it has imposed on the strip.

It has been reported that the Israeli Ministry of Health has allowed large Israeli pharmaceutical companies to test their products on Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. In 1997, it was reported that over 5,000 tests had been performed on Palestinian prisoners.

Teva: deriving profits from colonialism

Israeli authorities have historically refused to return the dead bodies of Palestinians, such as Fares Baroud, who was killed by Israel’s regime’s denial of medical treatment. This has raised suspicions of Palestinian bodies being used to conduct medical experiments.

Teva’s profits are directly derived from decades of colonisation and exploitation of the land and people of Palestine. It is our duty to do everything we can to ensure our money is not being used to further genocidal and colonial oppression.

Youth Front for Palestine says it will be holding more actions against Teva in the future.

Featured image and additional images via Youth Front for Palestine

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