Wednesday, February 18, 2009

An International Monied Conspiracy

Stick with me on this.

JTA has reported on a weird research project.

A Dutch company was hired by the Sir Joseph Hotung Program for Law, Human Rights and Peace Building in the Middle East which is part of The School of Oriental and African Studies, itself part of the University of London.

What is this program?

It works to highlight and promote the use of international law and human rights in respect to the engagement of all parties, including third States, to Israeli-Palestinian relations.

The goal is to generate policy-oriented scholarship that will support the development of practical strategies for a just and lasting peace in the region.

How did they do this in this specific case?

It researched exports to Britain from Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

The report was produced by Profundo, which investigated "U.K. economic links with Israeli settlements" and in its 61 pages lists companies and financial institutions that, supposedly, have direct or indirect contacts with "settlements".

As JTA notes

The report is not limited to companies based in the settlements. It also includes details of financial institutions that either hold or deal in State of Israel Bonds, which the report says might in some indirect way help finance Israel's activities in the settlements.

"We are not sure why SOAS paid a Dutch company to write this sinister and misleading report," said Jon Benjamin, CEO of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the representative body of Jews in the United Kingdom. "It is, in effect, a handbook for boycotting Israeli and Jewish companies. Kosher shops are disproportionately targeted by the report."

The SOAS group claims

The research has identified 68 British companies which have links with Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jersualem [sic]: 49 have their Head Office in the UK and 19 are British subsidiaries of companies based in Israel or other countries.

The report is framed within the international legal context both of the settlements themselves and of the trade agreements between Israel and the UK and EU. It illustrates furthermore how the economy of Israel proper and that of the settlements in occupied territory have become intertwined.

In the past, SOAS/Hotung published this: Stephanie Koury, "Israeli Settlements Illegal, And Getting Worse", Sep 21, 2005, Distributed by Minuteman Media and published in Topeka Capital Journal (09/24/05) and Northwest Arkansas Times (09/25/05). Koury, by the way, served as a legal adviser on Israeli settlements for the PLO's negotiating team from 2000 - 2004. Ms. Koury was part of the legal team that represented Palestine in oral hearings before the International Court of Justice at the Hague.

In case you would want to know,

Sir Joseph Hotung is a philanthropist, art collector and private investor. He gained his LLB by External study in 1970. Born in Shanghai, Sir Joseph is from the third generation of a Hong Kong family which has generously supported educational causes. His distinguished career in business includes directorships of HSBC Bank and other international companies.The first Chairman of the Arts Development Council in Hong Kong, a Trustee of the British Museum, he was awarded an honorary DSc (Econ) by the University of London in 2003.

That's him, in the middle

And he is also on the board of the U.S./Middle East Project that was established in 1994 by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) under the direction of Henry Siegman, a senior fellow on the Middle East at the Council. Siegman is a name I have mentioned several times in this blog, mostly derogatory.

So, what we have is an international monied conspiracy to undermine Israel.

Almost like some fictional council I used to hear about.

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