Posts Tagged ‘Norwegian Pension Fund’

PRESS RELEASE: Israeli Organizations Call on Norway to Divest from the Israeli Occupation

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

“We, Israeli organizations …, call upon the Norwegian people to join us in our efforts and to stop investing in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory”. Twenty different Israeli organizations send an appeal to the Norwegian people to withdraw Norwegian national pension fund’s investments in all Israeli and international corporations which are involved in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.(see the full letter here: http://coalitionofwomen.org/home/english/articles/norway-fund )

In an unprecedented way, a wide array of Israeli civil society and grassroots organizations has sent a letter to the Norwegian Pension Fund, addressed to its Council on Ethics, urging it to support their efforts for a just peace and equality in Israel/Palestine by divesting from all companies involved in the Israeli occupation.

These Israeli organizations include feminist organizations and community centers, peace and human rights organizations, comprised of Jewish and Palestinian women and men, organizations concerned with civil rights and equality within the state of Israel and organizations dedicated to ending the occupation of Palestinian territories, to the benefit of all people living in Israel/ Palestine.

This appeal follows and expands a previous call on the Norwegian fund, by two Palestinian West Bank villages and eleven other organizations from around the world to divest from Africa-Israel, an Israeli corporation involved in building Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

But Africa-Israel is not the only settlement-builder on the fund’s investment portfolio. As shown by a recent report by Who Profits from the Occupation research, at least 30 other companies have a continuous involvement in the occupation: some build illegal Israeli settlements or provide vital services to them; some provide specifically designed equipment for the surveillance and repression of Palestinian population through restrictions of movement and collective punishments; some exploit Palestinian labor and natural resources. The examples listed also include international corporations such as the Belgian Bank Dexia, which finances Israeli illegal settlements’ municipalities by long term loans, or the Mexican Cemex and the German HeidelbergCement, both giant construction materials’ suppliers that own and operate Israeli plants and quarries on occupied land, and thus both contribute to the Israeli illegal colonization of Palestinian lands, and exploit the Palestinian nonrenewable natural resources, for the needs of the Israeli economy and in violation of international law.

The letter is framed as a general appeal to the Norwegian people, mentioning the Norwegians’ “long-standing commitment to peace, justice and democracy” in Israel/Palestine, and presenting the current investment in corporations that “support and maintain the Israeli occupation” as contradicting the Norwegian governments’ own policies, as well as the pension fund’s own ethical guidelines, which preclude investments in companies involved in gross violations of human rights or humanitarian principles. Copies have been sent to Norwegian civil society organizations, ministers and parliamentarians.

Letter to Norwegian Pension Fund / Israeli Organizations

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

May 14, 2009

The Council on Ethics Norwegian Government Pension Fund Government of Norway

Dear Members of the Council on Ethics,

We, Israeli organizations, comprised of Jewish and Palestinian women and men and dedicated to building a just peace and to promoting human rights and equal civil rights in Israel/Palestine, Call upon the Norwegian people to join us in our efforts and to stop investing in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.

It has come to our attention that the Norwegian governmental Pension Fund, as of December 31st 2008, is heavily invested in corporations whose activities continuously support and maintain the Israeli occupation, in violation of international human rights and humanitarian law. These companies, both Israeli and international, build illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory or provide vital services to them; provide specifically designed equipment for the surveillance and repression of Palestinian population through restrictions of movement and collective punishments; or take part in the illegal exploitation of Palestinian nonrenewable natural resources for the needs of the Israeli market.

We see the Norwegian Pension Fund’s investments in these corporations as contradicting the Norwegian government’s commitment to international law, the Norwegian people’s long standing commitment to peace, justice and democracy in our region, and the Pension Fund’s own ethical guidelines. We therefore urge the Council on Ethics to remove from the fund’s investment portfolio all corporations that support and maintain the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory.

Thank you,

Coalition of Women for Peace http://www.coalitionofwomen.org

Al- Tufula Center http://www.altufula.org

Bat Tzafon for Peace and Equality

Children of Abraham http://groups.google.com/group/bnei-avraham?hl=en

Hacampus Lo Shotek

Hithabrut – Tarabut http://www.tarabut.info

Humans without Borders – Assisting Medical Accessibility http://humanitywithoutborders.ning.com

Israel Social TV http://www.tv.social.org.il

MachsomWatch – Women against the Occupation and for Human Rights http://www.machsomwatch.org

Mossawa Center, the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel http://www.mossawacenter.org

New Profile http://www.newprofile.org

Ta’ayush, Jewish Arab Partnership

The Alternative Information Center http://www.alternativenews.org

The Israeli Committee for Residency Rights (ICRR)

The Israeli Committee against House Demolitions http://www.icahd.org

Women against Violence http://www.wavo.org

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Israel Section

Yesh Gvul http://www.yeshgvul.org

Zochrot http://www.nakbainhebrew.org

On the involvement of the Norwegian Pension Fund in the occupation read the report by Who Profits: http://www.whoprofits.org/Newsletter.php?nlid=41

“Who Profits from the Occupation?” is a project of the Coalition of Women for Peace


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