The Palestine Solidarity Campaign has released deeply shocking research, which has uncovered local government pension funds invest over £2bn in companies complicit in Israel’s war crimes. This research is just the tip of the iceberg, and is indicative of wider patterns of investment by all local government pension scheme fund. Find out more below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Palestine Solidarity Campaign research uncovers LGPS funds invest over £2bn in companies complicit in Israel’s violations of international law.
- Groundbreaking research uncovers Local Government Pension funds invest over £2bn in companies that aid Israel’s grave violations of international law.
- Investments include companies blacklisted by the United Nations for activity in Israel’s illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
- Calls growing from activists and scheme members for LGPS funds to remove money from any company complicit in human rights abuses against Palestinian people.
- Findings follow Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s defeat of the UK government in the Supreme Court, overturning regulations that restricted ethical investment.
Research released today by Palestine Solidarity Campaign has revealed that Local Government Pension Scheme funds invest over £2bn in companies complicit in Israel’s human rights abuses. The research, studying the direct investments of 33 LGPS funds, uncovered a range of investments in arms companies notorious for the manufacture of weapons used against civilian populations, and companies active in Israel’s illegal settlement economy.
The data includes investments in companies present in the UN Human Rights Office’s list of companies active in Israel’s illegal Jewish-only settlements, built on stolen Palestinian land. This includes 5 LGPS funds that invest in Bank Hapoalim BM, included due to partnerships in construction projects in the illegal settlements of Efrat and Beitar Illit.
In addition, the research revealed the East Sussex and Hackney funds invest in Israeli arms company Elbit Systems. During Israel’s aerial bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza in 2014, Elbit’s 7.5 Skylark, as well as its lethal UAV, the Hermes 900, were used. The use of Israeli drones for targeted killings with Elbit’s Hermes drones has been condemned by Human Rights Watch and has prompted Amnesty International to call for a suspension of UK arms sales to Israel.
The research is indicative of wider patterns of investment by LGPS funds, and has led to growing calls from activists, pension holders and their union representatives, for pension funds to remove investments from companies complicit in human right abuses.
Ben Jamal, Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign said “Our research has revealed the shocking complicity of local government pension scheme funds in Israel’s war crimes. It is deeply appalling that this money is being used to fund violations of international law. Administering authorities of local authority pension funds should seek to remedy this situation as a matter of extreme urgency.”
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- The research can be viewed here