Norway blacklists 2 Israeli companies
Norway has blocked its $820 billion pension fund from investing in two Israeli companies because of their construction activities in east Jerusalem.
The Foreign Ministry this week blacklisted Africa Israel Investments and its subsidiary, Danya Cebus, on a recommendation from the fund’s ethics council.
The companies were excluded from the fund — one of the world’s biggest institutional investors — once before, in 2010. That time it was for construction in the West Bank.
More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, territories that Israel captured in the 1967 war and which the Palestinians now hope will be part of their future state.
The fund’s ethics council says the settlements represent “serious violations of the rights of individuals in situations of war or conflict.”
Norwegian gov’t says it won’t invest in West Bank construction.
The reason given is the companies’ construction in the West Bank.
The Norwegian Finance Ministry said, “The ethics council stresses that construction of settlements in the occupied territories violates the decision of the Geneva convention regarding defense of civilians during war time. Several decisions of the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice have reached the conclusion that construction of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories is prohibited.”
The Norway Oil Fund has assets worth $450 billion, and held $1.16 million in Africa-Israel shares. Danya Cebus is Africa-Israel’s construction subsidiary.
The fund is managed by the Norwegian Central Bank, and divests for ethical reasons. The Norwegian Oil Fund does not invest in companies that manufacture nuclear weapons or weapons of mass destruction, and divests from those that harm the environment and deny workers their rights.