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.