Land Developer BDS (Leviev)

Campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel in New York City.

Shaya Boymelgreen and Lev Leviev:
destroying communities and violating laws in Palestine and New York City.

The information in these background documents regarding Leviev's companies was last updated in 2009. For more updated information please see Adalah-NY's press releases.

Israeli American real estate developer Shaya Boymelgreen and Israeli businessman Lev Leviev are building destructive projects in New York City and in the Occupied West Bank in Palestine. Leviev and Boymelgreen are building strategic settlements in the Occupied West Bank which violate international law and aim to ensure Israeli control over key areas in the West Bank, rendering peace between Israelis and Palestinians impossible. In Palestine and in New York City they are committing similar abuses: expelling low-income, local residents from their communities, violating laws, and exploiting laborers

Leviev, one of Israel’s wealthiest businessmen, is building the Mattityahu East settlement on the lands of the village of Bil’in with partner Shaya Boymelgreen, the Zufim settlement on the lands of the village of Jayyous, and the strategic West Bank settlements of Har Homa and Maale Adumim around Jerusalem which divide the northern West Bank from the Southern West Bank. In Bil’in and Jayyous, Boymelgreen and Leviev are building settlements on village land despite intensive nonviolent protest campaigns mounted by the two Palestinian villages against the construction.

October 27, 2014 – The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported today (article in English) that representatives from Africa Israel (AI) and its construction subsidiary Danya Cebus, targets of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, say they will stop building Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including in Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem. Yedioth Ahronoth reported that protests against settlement construction beyond the Green Line were among the main reasons for AI’s decision. The Israeli newspaper cited Africa Israel’s past construction the settlements of Har Homa, Gilo, Ma'aleh Adumim, Ariel, and Mattityahu East. However, Adalah-NY believes that this announcement - undoubtedly the result of seven years of pressure generated by Adalah-NY and allied groups worldwide and a sign of the growing strength of the BDS movement - should be greeted with vigilance because Africa Israel has in the past made similar statements that proved to be untrue.

In fact, according to the Israeli watchdog group Who Profits, “In October 2010, in an official letter to Who Profits, Africa-Israel stated: ‘Neither the company nor any of its subsidiaries and/or other companies controlled by the company are presently involved in or has any plans for future involvement in development, construction or building of real estate in settlements in the West Bank.’ However, the company soon after received a 78 million shekel contract to construct the C-Jerusalem project in the settlement neighborhood of Gilo in East Jerusalem.”

MEDIA CONTACT: info@adalahny.org

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New York, NY, February 19, 2014 – Adalah-NY announced today that contrary to 2012 media reports touting Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev’s support for the New York City anti-hunger nonprofit City Harvest, the organization received no support of any kind from Leviev during that period. In November 2012, after media reported on Leviev’s support for City Harvest fundraisers, Adalah-NY mobilized letters from organizations and from over 600 individuals calling on the award-winning organization to reject funds from and publicly disavow Leviev due to his companies’ construction of Israeli settlements in violation of international law, and unethical business practices in the diamond industry in Southern Africa.

City Harvest’s just-issued 2013 annual report, and their 2012 annual report both show no support from Leviev. City Harvest spokesperson Cara Taback confirmed in a February 18 phone call with Adalah-NY that the annual reports provide a full and accurate list of all the organization’s donors, and that Leviev indeed had not been a City Harvest donor during the July 2011 – June 2013 period covered by the two reports.

MEDIA CONTACT: info@adalahny.org

January 30, 2014, New York, NY - Adalah-NY thanks the Norwegian Government for doing the right thing, and reinstating today the ban on investing Norway’s Pension Fund Global in Lev Leviev’s company Africa Israel and its subsidiary Danya Cebus “due to contribution to serious violations of individual rights in war or conflict through the construction of settlements in East Jerusalem.”

Norway’s decision followed an educational and advocacy campaign by civil society groups. In September 2013, Adalah-NY, the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, and the Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign wrote to Norway’s Council of Ethics documenting Danya Cebus’ ongoing construction of homes in the settlement of Gilo, providing photographic proof of the construction furnished by the Israeli occupation watchdog group Who Profits. The groups called “on Norway’s Ministry of Finance to swiftly re-impose the prohibition on investment in Africa Israel and Danya Cebus. The Electronic Intifada also published the information about the Gilo construction and communicated it to the Council on Ethics. Norwegian People’s Aid and the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (Fagforbundet) have actively worked to encourage the government to reach this decision.

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New York, NY, December 14, 2013 – As snow fell on the New York area Saturday afternoon, 40 human rights advocates gathered on Manhattan’s upscale Madison Avenue in front of the Leviev Diamond store and sang parody holiday carols protesting diamond magnate Lev Leviev’s construction of Israeli settlements. Many holiday shoppers, bundled against the cold, paused to listen to the carolers and appeared surprised but pleased by their human rights message. 

The protest came days after popular mobilizations against an Israeli government plan to displace tens of thousands of Palestinian Bedouin citizens of Israel contributed to the plan’s cancellation, and amidst growing global recognition of the efficacy of the international boycott movement.

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September 26, 2013 - Lev Leviev’s company Africa Israel has admitted to ongoing construction in Gilo, an Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem, but simultaneously denied that Gilo is a settlement in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem. Africa Israel’s statement to the UK’s Business & Human Rights Resource Centre came in response to an outcry over Norway’s Ministry of Finance’s August decision to rescind a 2010 ban on investment of the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund Global in Africa Israel and its construction subsidiary Danya Cebus. Norway had put in place the ban on investment in 2010 due to the two companies’ construction of Israeli settlements in violation of international law.

On September 4th, Adalah-NY and three leading Palestinian civil society groups wrote to The Pension Fund Global’s Council on Ethics calling on them to swiftly reinstate the ban on the companies due to their ongoing settlement construction in Gilo. The Council on Ethics responded that they are “looking into” the matter. Norway’s Ministry of Finance announced the end of the ban on investment after Africa Israel told the Council on Ethics in April 2013 that they were not building any Israeli settlements. Africa Israel, owned by Israeli diamond magnate Lev Leviev, has a long history of settlement construction.

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