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Ms. Taylor Swift
c/o Ms. Tree Paine & Ms. Dana Lobb
PREMIUM PR

September 29, 2015

Dear Ms. Swift,

You have deservedly earned recognition for lending your name and your financial resources to charitable efforts to help victims of bullying, survivors of environmental disasters, and others in need. In light of your support for humanitarian causes, we wish to call your attention to an instance where your inadvertent action threatens to undermine values you uphold. You are featured wearing diamonds from Leviev in two photos in the September issue of Vanity Fair. We are confident that if you were aware of Lev Leviev’s violations of human rights and international law, and unethical business practices in Palestine, Angola and Namibia, you would not tarnish your good name by associating yourself with his companies.

UNICEF, Oxfam America, the British and Norwegian governments and New Zealand’s pension fund are among many organizations that have severed ties with Leviev’s companies as a result of awareness-raising campaigns by activists about Leviev’s human rights abuses. Major Hollywood stars have also distanced themselves from Leviev. In 2008, the website of Leviev Diamonds featured photos of Salma Hayek, Halle Berry, Drew Barrymore, Brooke Shields, Andie MacDowell, Lucy Liu, Whitney Houston, Sharon Stone and others. However, after human rights activists spoke to and sent letters to representatives for these celebrities, some of these stars issued complaints to Leviev and the entire Celebrity section of his company’s website was taken down.

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Click Here for French

September 21, 2015

Dear Mr. Cointreau,

We are human rights activists who are writing with great concern about the partnership of Le Cordon Bleu with SodaStream, the Israeli manufacturer of carbonation devices and soda syrup. We know that Le Cordon Bleu has a longstanding worldwide reputation for its high standards in teaching the finest cooking techniques and in creating the greatest recipes. Surely it would not want to be associated with a company that is complicit in, and profits from, Israel’s violation of Palestinian rights.

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In Stuttgart, Germany, on July 19, activists prepared to demonstrate outside his concert, but in the face of continuing protests, Vieux agreed to meet with them about his scheduled concert in Israel. The group also challenged his musical alliance with Israeli musician Idan Raichel, an absolute apologist for Israel’s apartheid policies.

According to their report, Touré was disturbed to learn that Raichel was not quite what he seemed. We put it to him that Raichel had strong connections to the army and supported them without compromise. We asked how it was possible to talk of music bringing people together when he supported repressive policies and actions that sowed hatred in peoples' hearts.

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Zufim: Tens of Families Have Built Homes they Cannot Sell
Globes
May 29, 2014
Shlomit Tzur
http://m.globes.co.il/news/m/article.aspx?did=1000942426
Translated from Hebrew for Adalah-NY by Ofer Neiman and Udi Pladott   (…  represent parts of the article that were not translated)

Families residing in [the settlement of] Zufim in Samaria, near Kohav Yair, have recently discovered a surprising fact: the plots they had purchased and on which they had built their homes have had a lien against them since the 1990s, with the state being the claimant.

In a lawsuit for damages in the sum of 2.5 million NIS, filed by 10 of these families against the Leader Company, which had sold them the plots, they state that they were astonished to learn of this fact, since the lien had not appeared in the certificate of rights issued to them by the company - and that this was done deliberately and in bad faith. According to these families, they are unable to sell their homes and the threat of the State exercising its rights to the plots, thereby claiming its rightfully due debt, hovers over their heads every single day.

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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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Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel endorsed a demonstration at the Brooklyn Nets - Maccabi Tel Aviv game on Tuesday, Oct. 7.  The demonstration was centered around protesting the Nets' hosting of 12 Israeli Defense Forces members who participated in this summer's military attack on Gaza.  That attack killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, the vast majority civilians, including more than 500 children.  This demonstration concluded at 8 p.m., hours before the Nets game ended. According to reports that have been brought to our attention, the NYPD is investigating an incident in which a Mr. Leonard Petlakh claimed he was attacked by "pro-Palestinian demonstrators" after the game and sustained a broken nose.

Adalah-NY wants to make clear that the demonstration and the alleged assault on Mr. Petlakh are two distinct events, occurring at different times of day. The demonstration was a peaceful protest and should not be conflated with a post-game altercation.

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Dear Council President Mark-Viverito:

We are concerned that you and the City Council Jewish Caucus have joined together to host a panel discussion entitled "Increasing Economic Ties Between New York City and Israel," scheduled for this coming Friday morning at City Hall. 

Of course you are aware that Palestinian civil society has called for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel until it ends its occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, recognizes the rights of Palestinians forced from their homes into exile, and accords equal rights to its own Palestinian citizens.  This call has gained increasing support from around the world -- particularly from the European Union and its member countries.

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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.

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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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