Showing posts with label Elbit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Elbit. Show all posts

Monday, May 9, 2011

TIAA-CREF campaign update

Jewish Voice for Peace is one of more than 350 member groups in our nationwide coalition.

Campaign to Divest from Retirement Giant TIAA-CREF, Nationwide Right to Education Tour

Jewish Voice for Peace

Our TIAA-CREF campaign continues to gain strength. We are asking the retirement giant to divest from companies such as Caterpillar and Veolia, both heavily implicated in human rights abuses connected to the Israeli occupation. With your help, we plan to bring thousands of new signatures in favor of divestment to the CREF shareholder meeting in July, where some of our members will be presenting a shareholder’s resolution to encourage divestment. Help us spread the word by asking shareholders to sign our public pledge at our new website (wedivest.org) where you can also get additional information about the campaign and how to take action.

In support of the campaign, we launched a “Right to Education” tour featuring Palestinian students who are speaking in fifteen cities across the United States, from campuses to community centers to high schools. At one of our early events in Boston, we heard that students were talking in the hallways, at lunch, and in classes about what they had heard from the Palestinian students about their lives and the obstacles they face due to the Occupation. You can find the whole tour schedule at wedivest.org

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Los Angeles JVP calls on TIAA-CREF to divest from Caterpillar

By Adolfo Flores, Pasadena Star-News, 12/10/2010


PASADENA - Members of the Los Angeles Jewish Voice for Peace on Friday protested a retirement planning office they claim profits from the conflict in the Middle East.

Organizers called on TIAA-CREF to divest from Caterpillar Inc. because the company allegedly supplied bulldozers to Israel that were used to demolish Palestinian homes in the West Bank, protest organizers said.

About 10 protestors gathered outside the office in conjunction with Human Rights Day.

"I think that they're making a mistake by not talking to people," said Estee Chandler. "We came with a petition with 650 signatures ... it asks them to divest from companies that directly profit from the occupation of Palestinian lands."

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Friday, April 9, 2010

BDS Victory: Swedish Pension Funds Exclude Elbit

In another example of the growth of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israeli occupation and apartheid worldwide, the Swedish pension fund has divested from Israeli apartheid wall-builder Elbit, a divestment decision that follows earlier divestment targeting Elbit by Norwegian and Danish funds:
"The First, Second, Third and Fourth National Pension Fund (AP1, AP2, AP3 and AP4) have decided to exclude the Israeli defense company Elbit Systems from their investments. The dialogue of the AP funds joint Ethical Council with Elbit Systems has not produced the desired results, according to a press release. The reason that Elbit Systems, are rejected is that the company delivered a monitoring system to parts of the barrier built on West Bank. In this way the company, "is connected to the violation of fundamental norms and conventions", according to Ethics Council." Despite repeated requests, Elbit Systems has refused to comment on the matter, said Ethics Council."
Omar Barghouti of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel comments:
"This fresh victory comes after the Norwegian pension fund had decided last year to divest from Elbit Systems as well. The largest Danish Bank, Danske Bank, has also done the same. Holding Israeli and international companies accountable for profiting from Israel's violations of international law and Palestinian rights has clearly become less taboo and may soon spread from the Nordic countries to others in the West."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another Danish fund divests from Elbit systems!

Yesterday we reported that Dankse Bank has decided to exclude Elbit Systems and Africa Israel from its investment portfolio due to the companies' involvement in the Israeli occupation. Now there's more good news--one of the largest Danish pension funds has divested from Elbit as well as two U.S. companies that are involved with Israel's Apartheid Wall. Note that Elbit also has half of the contract on the Wall being built by the United States government on the Mexico border. Here's an excerpt from a press release issued by our allies at Stop the Wall:
"Danish Bank (Danske Bank), the biggest financial group in Denmark, has excluded Elbit Systems and Africa Israel from its investment portfolio because of their involvement in providing equipment for the Wall and in settlement construction. The Danish Bank is normally not quick to divest as its list of excluded companies has now risen to only 24 companies around the globe. However, Thomas H. Kjaergaard, responsible for socially responsible investment in the Danish Bank Group commented: "We handle clients 'interests, and we do not want to put customers' money in companies that violate international standards." PKA Ltd. (in Danish: Pensionskassernes Administration A/S), one of the largest funds administrating workers’ pension funds in Denmark, announced it would no longer consider investments in Elbit Systems, and US companies Megal Security Systems and Detection Systems. All three are supplying equipment for the Wall. PKA has sold shares in Elbit worth almost one million dollars. "The ICJ stated that the barrier only serves military purposes and violates Palestinian human rights. We cannot rule out the inclusion of other companies in our blacklist for their role in this area,” said Michael Nellemann, investment director of PKA. These decisions come in the wake of media pressure in Berlingske Tidende exposing the investments in companies investing in the settlements and aiding and supplying the construction of the Wall. The Norwegian government initiated the recent surge in divestments from the illegal wall announcing last September their decision to cut ties with Elbit systems."
Boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaigns are really taking off in Europe--and the movement is gaining strength here in the United States, too. Click here to get involved!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Another divestment victory in Denmark as energy builds for campus divestment across North America

A Danish bank has added two Israeli companies that profit from the Israeli occupation to their list of companies that fail to meet the bank's Socially Responsible Investment standards, according to the Copenhagen Post Online. Settlement-builder Africa Israel and Apartheid Wall-contractor Elbit Systems were added to the "no investment" list of Dankse Bank. This is not the first time that either company has come under fire for its violation of human rights and international law in the occupied Palestinian territories. Africa Israel is majority-owned by New York-based diamond merchant Lev Leviev, a fact that has been highlighted by US Campaign member group Adalah-NY in a sustained campaign against Leviev's settlement-building and blood-diamond dealing activities. Leviev invests in Israeli settlements throughout the West Bank, including on the land of the Palestinian village of Bil'in, home of still-imprisoned Palestinian activist Abdallah Abu Rahmah. In March 2009, the British Embassy in Tel Aviv refused to rent space to Africa Israel due to the companies illegal activity in the West Bank. Elbit Systems, which is one of the major contractors involved in the building of Israel's Apartheid Wall and also has half of the contract on the U.S./Mexico border wall, has already lost investors due to its involvement in the Israeli Occupation, most notably the decision of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund to divest from Elbit in September 2009. Recently-freed Palestinian activist Mohammad Othman was arrested by Israel while returning from Norway to testify about the involvement of Elbit in the construction of the Wall. The Copenhagen Post Online quotes a representative of Dankse Bank on the reason for the bank's "no investment" decision:
"Thomas H. Kjærgaard, head of Danske Bank’s SRI department, told Business.dk the bank was looking out for the interests of its customers by not ‘placing their money in companies that violate international standards’. ‘It’s not in itself against national legislation to build a house, but our SRI policy goes further than that. It adheres to UN conventions and analyses them in a political context. It’s the Nordic, UN and EU position that the settlements are illegal and a hindrance to a peaceful resolution. On that basis we can state that this is a violation of our SRI policy,’ he said."
Investors in other corporate profiteers--companies such as Caterpillar and Motorola that continue to make money at the expense of Palestinian lives, lands, and liberty--would do well to heed Kjærgaard's words. -- In other divestment news, the energy of campus divestment campaigns continues to grow. Here's Gabriel Schivone writing in the University of Arizona Daily Wildcat:
"In a letter dated Dec. 31, 2009, addressed to the student-led monitoring group, the University of Arizona Community for Human Rights, and to the faculty-based University Committee for Monitoring Labor and Human Rights Issues, the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church relayed its leading research on each Motorola and Caterpillar with regard to the companies’ involvement in the illegal military occupation of Palestine: “For years churches and human rights groups have met with Caterpillar and submitted resolutions urging it to stop providing bulldozers that demolish Palestinian homes.”

“During this time,” the church states, “Caterpillar has deepened its involvement with the occupation.” "

And here's Aidan McDonald of Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, writing at Rabble.ca:
"[D]espite Carleton President Roseann Runte's characterization of the university as an institution that is "engaged in solving real-world problems," and her proclamation that it emphasizes human rights and social justice, Students Against Israeli Apartheid -- Carleton (SAIA) has discovered that the Carleton University Pension Fund has tens of millions of dollars invested in...companies which are willing contributors to the litany of social and political ailments that plague our global community....Motorola, BAE and Northrop Grumman are perhaps the most egregious of the bunch, as they all supplied Israel with military equipment that was used in the 2008-2009 bombardment of Gaza....Adopting SRI would go a long way towards making Carleton a more ethical institution, and would align it with its obligations under international law. Similarly, divesting from these companies would be a major step for the BDS movement, and for the pursuit of justice for the Palestinian people. The international precedents for both actions have been set. The pressure is now on for Carleton to do the right thing."
Read the rest of Gabriel and Aidan's articles, and then find out how you can start your own campus divestment initiative.