Norway

Document

MEDIA CONTACT: [email protected]

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.

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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.

Document

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.