Danya Cebus

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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.”

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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.

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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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Leviev-owned company was cleared for investment due to deception.

September 4, 2013

Dear Members of the Council on Ethics for the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global,

We are writing to express our concern that Norway’s Ministry of Finance has lifted its 2010 ban on investing funds from Norway’s Global Pension Fund in the Israeli company Africa Israel and its construction subsidiary Danya Cebus. The lifting of the ban was based on April 2013 statements by Lev Leviev’s company Africa Israel falsely suggesting that the company was not involved in the construction of illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory. However, as the Israeli civil society Coalition of Women for Peace’s Who Profits project yet again documented with photos, video and a pamphlet immediately after learning of Norway’s decision, Africa Israel and Danya Cebus are currently building homes in the illegal Israeli settlement of Gilo. They have been doing so for more than two years.

We call on Norway’s Ministry of Finance to swiftly re-impose the prohibition on investment in Africa Israel and Danya Cebus. The Ministry noted appropriately in 2010 that these companies “are contributing to or are themselves responsible for grossly unethical activity.” The Ministry should adhere to the same standards that led to the 2010 decision to divest from the two companies due to their long history of settlement construction in occupied Palestinian territory in violation of international law. Without quick corrective public action there is a significant danger that other actors may follow Norway’s well-publicized example and clear these companies for reinvestment, also based on false information.

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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.

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June 18, 2012, New York, NY -  
Adalah-NY released new photos today showing that Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev’s flagship company, Africa Israel (AI), continues to build Israeli settlements, despite a November 2010 AI statement that it was not involved in settlement construction. Adalah-NY also revealed that US pension giant TIAA-CREF, already the target of a campaign calling for divestment from Israeli occupation, has renewed its investments in AI after selling its shares in 2009. Campaigns targeting Leviev and TIAA-CREF are part of the growing movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it ends its violations of Palestinian rights.

Riham Barghouti from Adalah-NY explained, "Despite a facade of transparency, philanthropy, and glamour, Leviev's companies, including Africa Israel, continue to violate international law by building Israeli settlements and engaging in unethical business practices in Africa. Investors like TIAA-CREF, organizations like the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and celebrities like Daphne Guinness should boycott Leviev's companies rather than abetting their human rights abuses."