Ill-gotten gains: European business in occupied territory

Mar 27, 2018

New research supported by Forum member ActionAid Denmark reveals that Europe’s largest pension funds are heavily invested in illegal Israeli settlements.

Denmark’s independent media research centre Danwatch screened the investment portfolios of Europe’s top five pension fund managers, discovering that European investors have billions of euro invested in companies with activities in and around illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory. This in spite of the fact that the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016) recently reaffirmed that the Israeli confiscation of Palestinian land for residential or industrial settlements has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace”.

ActionAid Denmark’s Secretary General Tim Whyte, commenting on the research findings, said that: “This is about much more than investors failing to live up to their own investment policies and responsibilities under international humanitarian law and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. It’s about real people. About children and adults who are being forced off their land and their homes by an occupying power. European pension funds and companies have a huge responsibility to address their linkages to the illegal settlements and the human rights violations caused by the Israeli occupation – and a key role to play in promoting a just and peaceful solution for all. It makes me hopeful that more and more investors are waking up to this fact and are beginning to make a real difference”.

Congratulations to Tim Whyte and the team at ActionAid Denmark for their role in bringing this groundbreaking research to fruition, and in doing so shining a light on unscrupulous business practices and their real costs in terms of human lives.

Read more: https://www.ms.dk/en


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