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.
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.
New York, NY – The award-winning New York City anti-hunger nonprofit City Harvest is avoiding requests to distance itself from funding and support from controversial Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, despite over 500 letters to the organization complaining about Leviev’s human rights record. Leviev’s companies have built thousands of Israeli settlement homes on occupied Palestinian land in violation of international law, and have also been accused of involvement in human rights abuses and unethical business practices in the diamond industry in Angola and Namibia, and now possibly in Zimbabwe as well.
Protesters urge local nonprofit City Harvest to reject Leviev support
New York, NY, December 15, 2012 – Eighty New Yorkers sang parody carols in front of Israeli settlement-developer and diamond magnate Lev Leviev’s Madison Avenue jewelry store this afternoon. This was the sixth annual holiday demonstration at the store. Leviev’s companies have built thousands of Israeli settlement homes on Palestinian land, and are also involved in human rights abuses and unethical business practices in the diamond industry in Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
The protest took place during a period of heightened international criticism of Israeli settlement expansion. This week New Zealand’s Superannuation Fund, which invests $20 billion on behalf of New Zealand’s government, announced its divestment from Leviev’s companies and two others due to their construction of settlements and Israel’s wall in violation of international law.
New York, NY, December 13, 2012 – The New Zealand Superannuation Fund, which invests money on behalf of New Zealand’s government, announced on December 12 that it is divesting from Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev’s company Africa Israel and its construction subsidiary Danya Cebus over their construction of Israeli settlements. The announcement came amidst heightened international criticism of Israeli settlement expansion. The move also follows a 2010 decision by the Norwegian government to divest from Africa Israel, and a 2009 decision by the British government not to do business with the company. The organizations Oxfam America, CARE and UNICEF have also severed ties with Leviev.
The announcement came as Adalah-NY is petitioning the New York City anti-hunger nonprofit City Harvest to publicly disavow Leviev, and is preparing for its sixth annual anti-apartheid caroling protest outside Leviev’s Madison Avenue jewelry store this Saturday. Adalah-NY launched a campaign for the boycott of and divestment from Leviev’s companies in 2007.
As New Yorkers and others concerned with social justice and human rights, we recognize the valuable role that City Harvest plays in helping to alleviate hunger and address the underlying causes of poverty in our city, especially at this time of crisis for many in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Knowing City Harvest’s mission, we feel certain that you will be concerned to learn that, according to a press report, City Harvest is now benefiting from support from Lev Leviev, who is directly involved in increasing food insecurity and poverty of Palestinian families by developing Israeli settlements on expropriated Palestinian farmland. Leviev’s diamond companies are also involved in brutal human rights abuses, unethical business practices and impoverishing communities in Angola and Namibia.
Ms. Jilly Stephens Executive Director City Harvest 6 East 32nd Street, 6th Floor New York, NY
CC: Cara Taback, Associate Director/Communications
December 5, 2012
Dear Ms. Stephens,
We are writing to follow up on our November 7th letter, and our November 16th phone discussions with City Harvest’s Cara Taback regarding an October 2012 media report that businessman Lev Leviev is providing support to City Harvest. We noted in our letter that Leviev’s companies are involved in human rights abuses, unethical business practices and impoverishing communities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Angola and Namibia. Because City Harvest aims to alleviate hunger and address underlying causes of poverty in New York City we suggest that Leviev, who does the contrary in other countries, is not an appropriate donor.
We were relieved to hear from Ms. Taback that City Harvest had no knowledge of an October 2012 fundraising event at Leviev Diamonds in New York City to benefit City Harvest, had received no funds from such an event and was not aware of Leviev Diamonds’ plans to support City Harvest with a portion of its November sales.