Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Adri Nieuwhof

 

Investing in Israeli settlements continues “cycle of violence” — Desmond Tutu

tutu.jpg

Fierce apartheid critic Desmond Tutu has denounced businesses that aid repression. (Joshua Wanyama)

Other victories have received less publicity.

The Swedish fund KPA Pension, for example, has published an exclusion list on its website featuring a number of Israeli banks and telecommunications firms, the weapons manufacturer Elbit and Alstom, a French corporation that has been involved in building a light rail system linking up Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.

KPA manages the pensions of more than a million people working in local government.

Sweden’s state pension fund AP7, meanwhile, has excluded the technology giant Hewlett-Packard because of its provision of surveillance technology to Israel, as well as Cemex, a Mexican company which has been quarrying in the West Bank in violation of international law.

Enabling war crimes

AP7 is not as clean as it would have us believe, however.

In August, the Stockholm daily Svenska Dagbladet complained that AP7 is continuing to invest in3 Israeli banks.

According to the paper, this was not compatible with the views of most Swedes, who wanted pension funds to respect ethical principles.

Similarly, the third largest Dutch pension fund ABP has a €51 million ($64 million) stake in 3 Israel banks: Leumi, Hapoalim and Mizrahi-Tefahot. All three of these banks finance settlements in the West Bank.

The construction of Israeli settlements breaches the Fourth Geneva Convention and amounts to war crimes.

ABP is under pressure to ditch these enablers of war crimes. Around 1.8 million people have signed a petition calling on it to do so.

Desmond Tutu, the South African archbishop, has written to ABP’s board contending that investing in Israeli institutions that lend to repressive and illegal projects “helps perpetuate the cycle of violence.”

“Respect the UN”

ABP could follow the example set by another Dutch pension fund, BPL.

A list published by BPL for 2013 states that it has excluded the three aforementioned Israeli banks, along with Alstom and Veolia (the major player in the East Jerusalem tramway).

Gerard Roest, BPL’s chairman, told me that the decisions to exclude these firms were taken because the fund is guided by international standards on human rights. “The UN is a kind of world government and we should respect its decisions,” he said.

A UN fact finding mission on the Israeli occupation stated last year:

“A number of banks provide mortgage loans for home buyers and special loans for building projects in settlements. They also provide financial services to businesses in settlements and, in some cases, are physically present there.”

Richard Falk, a former UN special rapporteur for the West Bank and Gaza, has warned that “financial institutions and real estate companies may be held criminally accountable for their involvement with illegal settlements in occupied Palestine.”

Pension funds that keep on investing in Israel can be sure that they will come under pressure from people of conscience throughout the world. Support for war crimes will result in damage to their reputations.

Tuba Skinny cancels show at jazz festival in Israel: Will Hot Chili Peppers be next to cancel?

Adri Nieuwhof posted on Electronic Intifada last August 20, 2011:

“Tuba Skinny cancels show at jazz festival in Israel. Tuba Skinny, a traditional jazz and blues band from New Orleans, planned to perform at the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat, Israel on 21 August.

The international campaign “Don’t Play Apartheid Israel,” and the Israeli group “Boycott From Within” approached Tuba Skinny with the request to honor PACBI’s call for a cultural boycott of Israel.

One week before the show, Tuba Skinny received an open letter with information about the cultural boycott of Israel:

“Jazz festivals take place every summer all over the world, and New Orleans jazz bands are in high demand. Jazz music is loved the world over, so why would it be considered inhumane to play at a Jazz festival?

In the case of the Red Sea Jazz Festival, music takes on a very political role, because of the well-known global BDS movement. The PACBI, (Palestinian Call for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) has, since 2005, asked musicians to refrain from playing in Israel, and their call, representing Palestinian Civil Society, has become a global movement.

Thus, when a band, like Tuba Skinny, agrees to play in Israel, and break the picket line, it becomes very political”.

Tuba Skinny announced the cancellation of their show in Eilat on their website.

The group has joined the picket line of Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, Elvis Costello, The Pixies, the late Gil Scott-Heron, Carlos Santana, Pete Seeger, Massive Attack, Faithless, Gorillaz Sound System, The Tindersticks and the Klaxxons.

Will Hot Chili pepper be next to cancel?

The following is a sample petition letter mailed to the Red Hot Chili Peppers:

“I had yet to get a response. If you agree with the content of this letter, please sign this petition to get the Red Hot Chili Peppers to cancel their show in Israel. It seems ridiculous to me that the Red Hot Chili Peppers would even consider crossing the picket line of the global Palestinian liberation movement, that’s been forming since the last time they cancelled.

One thing remains the same though: It’s very hard to reach a band of their stature. I want to make sure that no artist can say they didn’t know. Not about the atrocities of the apartheid State and its brutal occupation, and not about the movement to boycott, divest and sanction it”.


adonis49

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adonis49

December 2020
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