3 December 2009
NZ NGOs call for Superfund divestment from Israeli war crimes
New Zealand peace and justice organisations are today restating a call made four weeks ago for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to divest from Israeli investments as part of a global divestment campaign aimed to put pressure on the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Despite two weeks ago announcing a temporary freeze on new settlement construction, 3000 new homes for Israeli settlers in the West Bank will be constructed on Palestinian territory, including annexed East Jerusalem.
The NZ Superannuation Fund currently holds investments in corporations deeply complicit in the belligerent Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Golan Heights and the blockade of the Gaza Strip. These include Israeli banks, petrol stations and telecommunications companies that operate in Israeli settlements in the Palestinian West Bank in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 (1967) which calls for the withdrawal of the Israeli military and settlement from the Palestinian West Bank.
The Superfund also holds investments in Boeing, Caterpillar and United Technologies, all of which manufacture military equipment such as fighter jets, attack helicopters and armoured bulldozers complicit in the occupation and used to carry out war crimes in the Gaza strip in January 2009. According to the United Nations Israeli forces launched ‘direct attacks against civilians with lethal outcome’ including the shelling of a house where soldiers had forced Palestinian civilians to assemble and the targeting of a mosque at prayer time, resulting in the death of 15 people.
“Four weeks ago New Zealand NGOs asked the Guardians of the Superfund to divest from all corporations involved in supporting the Israeli occupation of the West Bank or in providing the military equipment Israel uses to carry out war crimes and crimes against humanity,” said Investment Watch spokesperson Omar Hamed.
“This week the stalled peace process in the Middle East has a chance of being brought back to life but only if the international community puts pressure on the Israeli Government to completely halt and roll back the settlement process in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Just as New Zealand banks and insurance companies once divested from apartheid South Africa, the Superannuation Fund should support the Palestinian civil society call for divestment from the corporations that fuel ongoing conflict in the Middle East,” said Omar Hamed.
“The entire world sits on edge as international diplomats and politicians attempt to broker a ceasefire in Palestine, but until financial institutions around the world like the Superfund refuse to be complicit in the financing of war crimes and illegal settlement, the occupation and thus the conflict will continue,” Mr. Hamed
Omar Hamed is available for comment on 029 4555 789 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Investment Watch is a national network campaigning for ethical investment by New Zealand Government funds. It is supported by Aotearoa Lawyers for Peace, Auckland University Students for Justice in Palestine, Indonesia Human Rights Committee, Peace Foundation, Peace Movement Aotearoa and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (Aotearoa)
Global Peace and Justice Auckland is an umbrella group for organisations and individuals involved in global justice, anti-war and human rights campaigning in the Auckland region.
Palestine Human Rights Campaign campaigns for the defence of Palestinian human rights in Aotearoa/New Zealand.