New York blacklists Dutch companies for boycotting Israel
The state of New York placed four Dutch companies on a blacklist because the Americans believe the boycott Israel. The comopanies are ASN Bank, Royal HaskoningDHV, Triodos Bank and water company Vitens, NU.nl reports.
In June of this year New York decided to boycott companies that boycott Israel by withdrawing investments or making sanctions against the country. The four Dutch companies on the list have 90 days to prove that they are not boycotting Israel, or they will never again do business with New York.
ASN Bank told NU.nl that they are not boycotting Israel. The bank invests in Israeli company Amiad, which makes water filters, as well as in other companies that are active in Israel. "ASN Bank assess companies, governments and projects in which int invests or it finances on their sustainability. In that we apply sustainability criteria in the areas of human rights, climate and biodiversity." a spokesperson said to the newspaper. That includes government bonds and Israel, like 180 other countries, does not meet this criteria.
Vitens made headlines in 2014 when it decided to end cooperation with Israeli water company Mekorot. The Dutch company did this based on reports by the United Nations which stated that Mekorot withdrew water from Palestinian territories to use for Jewish settlements. "If we share the knowledge of this, then we ourselves contribute to the act", a spokesperson said to the newspaper.
Engineering firm Royal HaskoningDHV initially did not know it had been blacklisted. "We regret that we are on this list", a spokesperson said to NU after investigating. "Royal HaskoningDHV does not boycott Israel and for years we've worked in the country on projects in the fields of water, environment and infrastructure." The engineering firm likely ended up on the list because of its involvement in the construction of a wastewater treatment project. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised Royal HaskoningDHV to withdraw from the project because it is in an area occupied by Israel.
Triodos was not available for comment.