Tuesday, June 24, 2014

"Illegal"? Only the 'Construction'

Adri Nieuwhof 

is really upset.

It seems that a Norwegian state-owned pension fund has, yes, invested in an Israeli supermarket chain active in the "occupied West Bank", aka Judea and Samaria, Rami Levy Chain Stores (caveat, my wife is an employee at its Yafiz branch at Sha'ar Binyamin).

Adri, "a human rights advocate based in Switzerland",  And a BDSer who is "passionate about justice and equal rights for all" contacted the Norwegian Council of Ethics, which advises the fund, and she asked

how it could justify the investment when it issued a policy statement in 2013 acknowledging that Israel’s settlements violate international law. 

What happened next?

Aslak Skancke, a staff member with the council, replied that its policy on the illegality of Israel’s settlements in the West Bank is “about construction.”
“It does not exclude other activities,” he said.

Can you hear me laughing?

Adri (Jewish? Israeli?) thinks that there is "an onus on Norway to shun the company".  Why?

She quotes one Karin Arts, a professor of international law and development with the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, who thinks that the 2004 ICC ruling contains "an obligation related directly to assisting the wall" which then "could be interpreted as requiring governments to divest from companies benefiting from the wider occupation'.

Arts firmly insists that "Investments [in Israeli banks and companies doing business in the occupied territories] violate laws".  To her, what must be upmost is to prevent the "rewarding the profiteers of occupation".  

I presume benefitting local Arabs is to be preventing too.

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