[U of Haifa, Women studies] Dalit Baum "Israel's Occupation of Palestine: Who profits and who doesn't" & Merav Amir [TAU, Cohn] Stop Danish Funding
Who Profits and Who Doesn't?
19 Nov 2009, London School of Economics
On 19 November 2009 the London School of Economics (LSE) hosted a seminar on "Israel's Occupation of Palestine: Who profits and who doesn't". It was organised by the LSE Student Union and featured two activists from Israel talking about the the Israeli Occupation, its corporate supporters, and its effect on Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. The event was chaired by Daniel Machover, the chairperson of 'Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights'.
Who profits from the occupation? (31min)
speaker: Dr Dalit Baum (Who Profits) http://www.inminds.co.uk/download.php?id=201.dwn
Dr Dalit Baum was from 'The Coalition of Women for Peace' which runs the research project 'Who Profits from the Occupation' which exposes the companies profiting from the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. The project website www.whoprofits.org contains a database of nearly 400 companies that support the occupation. Whilst the focus is only on those companies supporting the 1967 occupation, it is never the less an excellent resource and a highly commendable achievement. Dr Dalit Baum explained that Whoprofits works with many international campaigns for BDS, feeding them with the vital information needed to expose the culprit companies, resulting is some spectacular successes. These include the Belgian bank Dexia which they exposed as funding settlement projects in the West Bank. Following the revelation, a sustained grass roots campaign in Belgium resulted in Dexia announcing it will no longer finance Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
In the question - answer session following the two talks Dr Baum explained that because of political considerations due to their location (in Israel) Whoprofits project is limited in that they only investigate corporate involvement in the occupation of 1967. However she made it clear that she personally did not believe that you can separate the occupation from Israel and that their research proved this because "the entire Israeli economy is complicit" in the occupation.
With regards to boycotts of Israel, Dr Baum explained "all actions in this case are good, of course we want to reach wide academic boycotts and cultural boycotts.. everything we can do because the situation is dire, presently on the ground in the Israeli public opinion level there is no motivation to change. So we need to change it from within but we need the outside pressure in order to have some traction."
So both Israeli citizens, Jew and Arab, point to the same conclusion that Israel is incapable of change. It is only through sustained pressure from outside, ie a strong BDS campaign, that we can ever hope to see any change, so the ball is clearly in our court..
MP3 Podcast of Seminar
.Who profits from the occupation?, Dr Dalit Baum (MP3) (31min, 16Mb) http://www.inminds.co.uk/download.php?id=201.dwn
Questions and answers http://www.inminds.co.uk/download.php?id=202.dwn
Nov. 15, 2009
JONNY PAUL, Jerusalem Post correspondent , THE JERUSALEM POST
LONDON - Last week's call by anti-Israel activists for people to boycott Israeli goods at two of the UK's largest supermarkets appears to have passed with no major impact.
Radical fringe group Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) called for a week of boycott action and protests against Morrison's and Waitrose supermarkets and said they would flood the supermarket's help lines with nuisance calls throughout the day on Wednesday.
Morrison's declined to comment but Waitrose declared there had been no impact at all on trade during the week.
"Our customer services department has responded to calls in their normal way," a Waitrose spokesperson said.
Responding to the boycott call, the Board of Deputies of British Jews and Fair Play Campaign Group (FPCG) initiated a "BUYcott Israeli goods" campaign calling on friends of Israel to buy more Israeli goods.
On Sunday, "BUYcott" campaigners were at Waitrose in Brent Cross Shopping Center in northwest London urging people to buy Israeli products.
"We have heard from people all over Britain who made an extra effort to buy Israeli goods this week. In the future, we hope that every anti-Israel boycott is answered with a BUYcott," a FPCG spokesman said.
Posting on the FPCG Web site, people commented on their shopping successes with a number of reports that Israeli produce had sold out.
One post said: "I am a part of a group of Christians who love and support Israel from Wirral and Chester, we were made aware of this boycott and in response I managed to purchase 8 different kinds of Israeli produce from Morrison's in Chester, some were almost sold out! So well done to Morrison's and I pray this boycott will be turned around."
Reporting that Israeli wine had sold out in one store, a contributor said: "Just to let you know that Waitrose in Finchley Road have these Israeli fresh products: mangoes, pomegranates, red grapefruit, organic dates and cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and tarragon plus all the Yarden products and various chocolates and cakes. There is no Israeli wine left, I bought 4 bottles last week. I have in fact decided to buy a substantial amount of Israeli products and am handing them out to friends and family. Thanks for alerting us to this campaign."
Another said: "Just to let you know that today I bought lots of delicious Israeli Sharon fruit and really good quality mixed Israeli peppers from Waitrose at the Spires Shopping Center in Barnet. Well done, Waitrose."
Next week, PSC is co-hosting a meeting with the humanitarian charity Oxfam, which is set to uncover companies and corporate organizations "who trade and profit from Israel's occupation of Palestine."
One of the main speakers at Thursday's public event at the London School of Economics' Student Union, titled "Israel's Occupation of Palestine: who profits and who doesn't?" is Dr. Dalit Baum from Haifa University, who coordinates the "Who Profits from the Occupation" project as part of the Jaffa-based Coalition of Women for Peace.
Described in the promotional material as "a feminist anti-occupation activist", Baum is set to discuss the project at the event as well as "present its mapping of corporate involvement in the occupation and tell the story of specific discoveries and challenges in ongoing campaigns."
According to their mission statement, the "Who Profits" project says: "Israeli and international corporations are directly involved in the occupation: in the construction of Israeli colonies and infrastructure in the occupied territories, in the settlements' economy, in building walls and checkpoints, in the supply of specific equipment used in the control and repression of the civilian population under occupation."
The Copenhagen Post
Pension funds invest billions in companies working in settlements declared illegal by the UN and the US
People saving for their pensions in this country are indirectly giving billions of kroner to firms that work in illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and on the West Bank, reports Berlingske Tidende newspaper.
The largest Danish pension funds such as PensionDanmark, PKA, Nordea Liv & Pension and Danica Pension have together invested about 2 billion kroner in companies delivering building materials, machines and financing to the settlements, which Denmark, the US and UN consider illegal.
‘These companies are making money on the occupation of Palestine. It must stop,’ said Merav Amir, a coordinator at Who Profits, an Israeli peace organisation.
Helle Lykke Nielsen, a researcher at The University of Southern Denmark’s Centre for Middle East studies, said she would be moving her pension savings to another fund, ‘just as I would if I found out my pension fund was investing in companies making profits from child labour or trading weapons’.
Foreign Minister Per Stig Møller said the government shouldn’t get involved in regulating the business activities of individual companies.
Danica and Nordea are, according to Berlingske Tidende, considering pulling out of their deals with the dubious companies but PensionDanmark and PKA do not see a problem with the activity.
'It isn’t PKA’s role to conduct foreign policy,’ a statement from the company reads.