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June 7, 2021 5:12 pm
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‘Block the Boat’ Protests of Israeli Container Ships Spread to Port of New York

avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Pro-BDS protesters at the Port of New York on Sunday, June 6. Photo: Screenshot

A group backed by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel protested the unloading of a container ship owned by Israel’s ZIM shipping firm at the Port of New York/New Jersey on Sunday, two days after another Israeli ship was reportedly blocked from unloading in Oakland.

Gathered at the Maher Terminal in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the protestors acted as “part of an International Week of Solidarity called for by [the Arab Resource and Organizing Center] to ‘Block ZIM everywhere,” according to a press release issued on Monday.

On Friday, a similar protest at the Port of Oakland — organized by the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (ACOC) and aided by a local union — managed to prevent a ZIM ship from unloading its cargo.

Based in the Israeli port city of Haifa, ZIM controls 1.5% of global container capacity, according to the Wall Street Journal, and became listed on the New York Stock Exchange in early 2021.

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ZIM did not immediately return an Algemeiner request for comment.

The so-called “Block the Boat” campaigners plan to stage a second event in New York City on Wednesday, outside the ZIM America Offices in Staten Island, New York. Another effort is planned for Tuesday at the ZIM shipping facility in Detroit, Michigan.

Footage of Sunday’s rally posted on Twitter shows a woman saying through a megaphone, “If these workers don’t unload this Israeli ship — that ship, which is owned by the Israeli government, loses millions of dollars every single day.”

“This is one the most [sic] strongest and most direct forms of boycott, divest, sanctions,” she continued. “What’s even better is … engaging workers on the question of Palestine.”

A Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesperson declined to comment.

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