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Stop CPP investments in firms supplying military, police, surveillance or prison-related products
to Israel

Welcome to the online version of COAT's magazine
Press for Conversion!  Issue #66, Fall 2012
Click here for a PDF version of this issue.

Heeding the International Call for
Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions

By Richard Sanders, coordinator, COAT
PDF version of this article from Press for Conversion!)

In 2004, the UN International Court of Justice ruled that Israelís separation wall is illegal. Construction has continued and it is expected to reach 760 kms. in length. Besides annexing their land, the wall separates Palestinians from their orchards, families, hospitals, workplaces and holy sites.

On the first anniversary of the World Court ruling, Palestinians called for an international Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign to pressure Israel into respecting international law. Endorsed by 170 Palestinian trade unions, professional associations, political parties, womenís groups, student unions and NGO networks, the campaign is now coordinated by the BDS National Committee (BNC).

A BNC statement called "Occupy Wall Street not Palestine," describes the BDS effort as being "deeply rooted in decades of Palestinian peaceful resistance to colonial oppression," and as "inspired by the South African struggle against apartheid as well as the [US] civil rights movement."

The call for a BDS campaign noted that for decades:

"Israel has denied Palestinians their fundamental rights of freedom, equality, and self-determination through ethnic cleansing, colonization, racial discrimination, and military occupation. Despite abundant condemnation of Israeli policies by the UN, other international bodies, and preeminent human rights organisations, the world community has failed to hold Israel accountable and enforce compliance with basic principles of law."

Despite hundreds of UN resolutions denouncing Israelís violations of international law, it has always received financial backing and military aid, primarily from the US. Between 2000 and 2011, the US gave Israel US$30 billion worth of the latest weapons systems and related equipment.

In response to the UNís inability or unwillingness to stop Israelís illegal acts, Palestinians initiated the BDS campaign calling upon "people of conscience all over the world" to "launch broad boycotts, implement divestment initiatives, and to demand sanctions against Israel, until Palestinian rights are recognised in full compliance with international law."

On July 8, 2011, the BNC called for an arms embargo on Israel. Endorsed by such Nobel Peace laureates as South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, its primary goal is to stop Israelís supply of "arms and related materiel of all types, including the sale or transfer of weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, para-military police equipment, including dual-use equipment, and spare parts."

Three days later, Israelís Knesset responded to the BDS movement with a repressive antiboycott law to penalise Israeli individuals and groups that promote the boycott.

A Canadian Contribution

This issue of Press for Conversion! Ė and one soon to follow Ė are inspired by the Palestinian proposal for a military/police embargo of Israel, and by the original BDS call to:

* Boycott Israeli and international companies "that profit from the violation of Palestinian rights," and

* Divest from "university investment portfolios and pension funds" that are "used to finance such companies."

COATís research cites data from hundreds of sources to expose 64 corporations that have two things in common:

(1) they profit from links to Israeli government institutions, agencies and corporations that hide behind the euphemisms of "defence" and "homeland security," and

(2) the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) held shares in these companies, with a market value of $1.4 billion in 2011.

The CPP also holds shares in many corporations that invest their wealth in military and so-called "security" industries that support Israeli apartheid. This is done directly, or through venture capital funds like Vertex, see pp. 50-52.

There are 16 million CPP contributors and beneficiaries who have been forced to invest their retirement savings in corporations with varying degrees of complicity in Israelís system of apartheid, its occupation of Palestinian lands, its military/"security" industries, and its aerial bombardments of Lebanon (2006) and Gaza (2008-2009).

Readers are asked to examine the evidence presented here and to investigate these issues for themselves. Hopefully, this will help to initiate discussion about Israelís occupation, the abuse of Palestinian human rights, and the unwitting complicity in these crimes that has been forced upon Canadians by their mandatory contributions to the CPP.

Taking Action

COATís publication of this research is the first step in a campaign that will include petitions, letter writing and lobbying efforts to urge the CPP Investment Board to divest from companies that support Israelís illegal and discriminatory policies. This campaign will also encourage boycotts, divestment, and other grassroot efforts to draw public attention to the issues raised here. To make this effort a success, your support and assistance, is urgently requested. 

Learn more about how you can get involved.

"Profiting from Israeli Apartheid:
Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investments in Corporations Supporting Israelís Military-, Police-, Surveillance-, Prison-Industrial Complex
(Part 1)"

Here's a coupon to subscribe, renew, order copies or make a donation to COAT.  To pay online, use the "Transfer Funds" button at the bottom of this page, or at the COAT homepage.)

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COAT research (published in Issues 66 and 67 of Press for Conversion!) exposes that in 2011 the CPP owned about $1.5 billion worth of shares in 68 corporations supplying Israel with military, police, surveillance and prison-related products.

To read COAT's research on the first half of these
68 companies, click the pdf links below to see the
 print version of Issue 66.  Or, click each company
name for the web version.)
(Articles on the second set of 34 companies are in
Issue #67 of Press for Conversion!):

pdf  3M Co
Amdocs Ltd
pdf  Analog Devices Inc

pdf  AT&T
pdf  BAE Systems
pdf  Bank Hapoalim
pdf  Bezeq
pdf  Bharat Electronics Ltd
pdf  CAE Inc
pdf  Carlyle Group
pdf  Caterpillar Inc
pdf  Cellcom Israel
pdf  Cemex
pdf  Cisco Systems
pdf  CRH plc
pdf  Daewoo Engineering & Construction
pdf  Daimler AG
pdf  Delek Group
pdf  Dell Inc
pdf  Discount Investment Corp
pdf  Doosan Corp
pdf  Eaton Corp
pdf  Elbit Systems
pdf  EMC Corp
pdf  Evraz Group
pdf  Fiat Industrial
pdf  Fiat SpA
pdf  Finmeccanica
pdf  Fujitsu Ltd
pdf  Hewlett-Packard Co
pdf  Hitachi Ltd
pdf  Honeywell International
pdf  Hyundai Motor Co
pdf  Hyundai Heavy Industries

Additional resources from this issue:
Israeli Spy Companies:
Verint and Narus

State-owned Israeli War Industries:
, IMI and Rafael

Vertex Venture Capital:
Investing in Israeli High-Tech Companies

Table listing CPP Investments