Who Profits Newsletter – Focus on Norwegian Pension Fund Investments

Who Profits from the Occupation May Newsletter: International Investment in the Occupation

A Case Study: The Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund

The economic interests in the Israeli occupation of Palestine are not exclusive to Israeli corporations. In a global economy, international corporations and investors are heavily involved in the manifold economy of the occupation. In our research we try to expose the economic connections of owners and investors in Israel and abroad to the daily workings of the occupation, to make hidden economic interests more accessible to public scrutiny and to appeals for public accountability. International investors, and among them public foundations, invest in corporations that are complicit in the Israeli occupation, knowingly or unknowingly. It is especially striking to note how explicit foreign policies contradict implicit financial support, such as in the case of the Norwegian Pension Fund.

The Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund is the largest European investment fund. This is a public fund which has strict ethical guidelines http://www.regjeringen.no.

According to the fund’s guidelines the fund “should not make investments which constitute an unacceptable risk that the Fund may contribute to unethical acts or omissions, such as violations of fundamental humanitarian principles, serious violations of human rights, gross corruption or severe environmental damages.”

In 2008 the fund announced that it was going to initiate investments <http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1003791.html> in the Israeli market. Examining the investments’ portfolio <http://www.norges-bank.no/upload/nbim/reports/holdings/2008/eq_holdings_spu_sorted.pdf> of December 31st, 2008, we have discovered that it lists dozens of corporations whose activities continuously support and maintain the Israeli occupation. Almost two thirds of the 41 Israeli companies on the list, and an additional eleven international corporations, have significant economic interests in the continued Israeli occupation.

Some of the activities of these companies clearly violate international human rights and humanitarian law. These companies build illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory or extend vital services to them; provide specifically designed equipment for the surveillance and repression of Palestinian civilian 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.

Below is an alphabetical list of Israeli and international companies from the Norwegian Government Pension Fund investment portfolio which are involved in the Israeli occupation according to our online database http://www.whoprofits.org/ :

Africa Israel (Israel) <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=447> – The company has been Involved in the construction and sale of housing projects, infrastructure and apartments in multiple Israeli settlements throughout the West Bank, through its subsidiary Danya Cebus <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=706> and through its real estate agencies’ network Anglo-Saxon <http://whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=478> .

Alstom (France) <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=580> – Through its Israeli subsidiary Citadis Israel – builds the Jerusalem light rail project, which is designed to connect Israeli settlements with Jerusalem.

Assa Abloy (Sweden) <http://whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=481> – Owns Mul-T-Lock <http://whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=489> , an Israeli locks’ company with a factory in a settlement industrial zone in the West Bank.

Bank Hapoalim (Israel) <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=570> – Provides mortgage loans for the construction of housing in West Bank settlements, and has several branches in the occupied territory.

Bank Leumi (Israel) <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=499> – Provides mortgage loans for the construction of housing in West Bank settlements, and has several branches in the occupied territory.

Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication (Israel) – Builds telecommunication infrastructure in the West Bank and provides services to all Israeli settlements there.

Caterpillar (USA) <http://whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=601> – This company’s specifically-designed militarized D9 bulldozers are used by the Israeli army as weapons against Palestinian population and property. The company’s tools have been used in demolitions of Palestinians’ houses in the occupied territory, and in the construction of the separation wall and settlements on Palestinian land..

Cellcom Israel (Israel) <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=712> – Has erected close to a hundred antennas and telecommunication infrastructure facilities on occupied land in the West Bank and the Golan Heights for the use of Israeli settlers.

Cemex (Mexico) <http://whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=704> – The company’s subsidiary Readymix Industries <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=645> (Israel), operates three plants in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, provides concrete elements for various construction projects in the occupied West Bank, and partners in an Israeli quarry for aggregates in the West Bank. These aggregates are used in the Israeli construction industry. Thus, the company is complicit in the exploitation of non-renewable Palestinian natural resources to the benefit of the occupying power.

Clal Group (Israel) <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=682> – A major shareholder of Nesher Israel Cement Enterprises <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=637> , that provides cement for the construction of the separation wall, Israeli settlements and infrastructure in the West Bank. Another subsidiary is Golf&Co, a retail store which has a branch in the settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev in the occupied West Bank.

CRH (Ireland) <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=614> – Holds 25% of Nesher Israel Cement Enterprises <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=637> , that provides cement for the construction of the separation wall, checkpoints, West Bank settlements and Israeli construction in the occupied territories.

Delek Group (Israel) – Through its subsidiary, Delek Israel Fuel, the company has more than a dozen fueling stations and convenience stores (“Menta”) in West Bank settlements.

Dexia (Belgium) <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=574> – through its subsidiary, Dexia Israel, the bank provides long term loans and financial services to municipalities of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Elbit Systems (Israel) <http://whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=554> – One of the main subcontractors for electronic detection systems in the separation fence and the seamline barrier for the Israeli Ministry of Defense. The company also develops and supplies UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to the Israeli army, which are used for military attacks, civilian surveillance and targeted assassinations in the West Bank and Gaza.

Emblaze (Israel) – Through its subsidiary, Formula Systems <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=623> , owns Matrix <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=633> , that operates an offshoring software services center in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

Frutarom Industries (Israel) <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=556> – Owns a food additives’ plant in Mishor Edomim settlement industrial zone in the West Bank.

G4S (UK) <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=596> – Through its Israeli subsidiary, Hashmira <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=595> , provides scanning equipment for checkpoints and terminals in the West Bank and Gaza.

General Mills (US) <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=669> – One of the plants producing company label products is Shalgal <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=668> , which is located in an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Gilat Satellite Networks (Israel) <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=670> – Provides satellite network infrastructure for Israeli military facilities and checkpoints in the West Bank.

HeidelbergCement (Germany) <http://whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=597> – Through Hanson Israel <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=598> – owns three plants in West Bank settlements and one Israeli aggregates quarry in the occupied West Bank. These aggregates are used in the Israeli construction industry. Thus, the company is complicit in the exploitation of non-renewable Palestinian natural resources to the benefit of the occupying power.

Housing and Construction Holdings (Israel) <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=545> – Through its subsidiaries Solel Boneh and Shikun Ovdim, the company builds housing projects in many West Bank settlements. The company is also a major shareholder of Otzma Pereg <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=474> (80%), an air conditioning systems factory which is located in an industrial zone in the occupied West Bank.

Israel Discount Bank (Israel) <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=558> – Provides mortgage loans for the construction of housing in West Bank settlements, and has several branches in the occupied territory. The bank also financed the construction of some of the building projects in West Bank settlements.

Israeli Electric Company (Israel) – Has a partial monopoly over the supply of electricity to Gaza, which has been used by the Israeli government in reducing the power supply <http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/Gaza%20Feb_08_2008.pdf> to pressure the Gaza population. The company also builds and maintains infrastructure in the occupied West Bank, and provides electricity services to all Israeli settlements there.

Jerusalem Economy (Israel) <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=731> – Develops and rents out Israeli industrial and commercial spaces in the occupied territory directly and through its subsidiary Industrial Buildings Corporation <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=505> .

Koor Industries (Israel) – Through its subsidiary Makhteshim-Agan Industries, partially owns (25%) Fibertech <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=666> , a fiberglass pipes’ plant which is located in an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Makhteshim-Agan Industries (Israel) – Partially owns (25%) Fibertech <http://www..whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=666> , a fiberglass pipes’ plant which is located in an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Mizrahi Tefahot Bank (Israel) <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=468> – Provides mortgage loans for the construction of housing in West Bank settlements, and has several branches in the occupied territory.

Partner Communications (Israel) <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=713> – Has erected more than eighty antennas and telecommunication infrastructure facilities on occupied land in the West Bank and the Golan Heights for the use of Israeli settlers.

Paz Oil (Israel) <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=470> – Has a monopoly over petroleum supply to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. The company also owns and operates gas stations in WestBank settlements. Its subsidiary PazGas <http://whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=473> supplies LPG gas to West Bank settlements.

Shufersal (Israel) <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=684> – The company and its subsidiaries have branches in several West Bank settlements. Furthermore, it distributes legumes and rice, under the company label, exclusively packed by Maya Foods, a factory located in an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Veolia Environnement (France) <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=581> – Operates regular bus lines in Israeli settlements, on Israeli-only roads in the West Bank. Further, the company has been contracted to operate the Jerusalem light rail project, which is designed to connect Israeli settlements with Jerusalem. Through its subsidiary Veolia Environmental Services (Israel), the company owns and operates the Tovlan Landfill in the occupied Jordan Valley, using captured Palestinian natural and land resources for the needs of Israeli settlements.

Unilever (Netherlands) <http://whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=579> – Owns (51%) the company Beigel and Beigel <http://www.whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=578> , which is a baked goods’ factory in an Israeli settlement industrial zone in the occupied West Bank.

I'm a teacher, writer, and activist based in Bangalore. I am dedicated to various issues including #BDS and Palestine, living a Zero Waste life, and putting the carbon back into the soil through composting! I am also a college counsellor who works to help Indian students obtain admission into the university of their choice whether at home or abroad.

Posted in Boycott, Divestment, Economic Boycott
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