Thursday, 28 August 2014 - 17:23
Tutu: Huge Dutch pension fund must stop Israel investments
South African Nobel prize winner and anti apartheid activist Desmond Tutu wrote in a public letter to the Dutch Pension Fund that ABP must withdraw from Israel, Het Parool reports. ABP is the third largest pension fund in the world. Tutu wrote that ABP's board must make a choise. They can either blindly keep to the facts and stick to the claim that somehow ABP's investments are shielded from the ever restricting Israeli occupation, or join the growing movement for divestment. If they choose the latter, ABP will, according to the former Archbishop, reduce risks, respect international laws and make a strong, non-violent contribution to peace in the Middle East. According to Tutu, ABP must not put any more money in the three Israeli banks, because they finance "illegal" Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory. If ABP continues to invest in these banks, they will be violating human rights. Tutu has written similar letters to French Veolia bus cumpany, the British G4S security company, PC giant HP and Barclays Bank. In a letter to the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz earlier this week Tutu argued for a total boycott of Israel. In this letter he referred to the struggle against apartheid. The cessation of trade with South Africa by multinationals with a conscience in the eighties was ultimately one of the main levers that brought apartheid - without bloodshed - to its knees, Tutu wrote. ABP has already been under fire for its Israeli investments. The fund has received several letters on the matter. ABP has acknowledged the receipt of the letter, but will only react once the content has been discussed in their board meeting today. ABP spokesperson Jos van Dijk pointed out that although the UN has condemned the Israeli settlement policy, not a word has been said about the role of the Israeli banks.