Portuguese activists fight state water company deal with Israel’s Mekorot

In October, EPAL, Portugal’s state water company, announced a deal with Mekorot, Israel’s state water company. An intern who responded to the news by informing colleagues of Mekorot’s role in Israel’s discriminatory water policies and assistance in its violation of international law was immediately sacked. News of the firing has inspired Palestine solidarity activists to campaign to end the deal. Similarly, the EPAL workers’ committee has denounced management’s decision.

EPAL’s actions have also drawn the attention of the influential Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias. In an article published on 20 November, EPAL’s public relations director Jose Zenha admitted that the intern would only have been warned for using the internal communication system for circulating information if her message would have [been considered to be] favorable for the company.

Following the intern’s dismissal, the Portuguese Solidarity Committee on Palestine (PSCP) has jumped into action by sending a letter to EPAL on Mekorot’s actions in Palestine, calling on the company to end the deal. EPAL replied, stating that it did not want to get involved in politics...