18. Dec 2014
Despite critique, the Municipality of Copenhagen continues its investments in companies that contribute to the maintenance of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, a new report from Danwatch shows.
The Municipality of Copenhagen invests 2,2 million dkk. in Israeli settlements, shows a new research report from DanWatch.
However, such investments stand in sharp contrast to the official position of the municipality. This summer, when the municipality chose to exclude the Israeli Bank Hapoalim from their investment portfolio, the message from Lord Mayor, Frank Jensen was clear:
“The West Bank is occupied territory and according to international conventions it is prohibited to drive communities away from their territory in order to reside there yourself. Unfortunately we will therefore have to withdraw investments in a number of Israeli companies with activities in the illegal Israeli settlements,” said Frank Jensen.
Millions invested in occupied territory
Currently The Municipality of Copenhagen has investments for 2,2 million dkk. in seven companies that operate on the occupied territories of Palestine. Amongst these companies is the Israeli bank Mizrahi Tefahot Bank, which provides construction projects in settlements with loans and offers financial services to the local authorities.
The municipality’s largest investment of 1,3 million dkk. is invested in Cement Roadstone Holdings, a co-owner of the cement producer Nesher, that contributes to the construction of settlements, checkpoints by the separation wall and the light rail between Jerusalem and the Israeli settlements.
The settlements have continuously been declared to be in conflict with international law by the UN and the International Court of Justice, and the investment policies of the Municipality of Copenhagen are based on UN conventions. However, the investments continue.
With the newest findings, the Municipality’s investments in Israeli settlements are once again the object of public attention.
In 2012, when Danwatch first wrote about the case, it was critiqued that the company G4S was part of Copenhagen Municipality’s investment portfolio. The Danish-British security enterprise supplies security services to the settlements and to several Israeli prisons where political Palestinian prisoners are held.
Back then the municipality of Copenhagen had 12 million dkk invested in international companies with activities in the occupied territories, but today the municipality has eliminated investments for around 10 million dkk by excluding G4S from their portfolio.
In a written answer to DanWatch, the Municipality of Copenhagen states that investments in companies, whose products are applied for the maintenance of the illegally occupied territories, are in conflict with the investment policies of the municipality. However a possible exclusion will “depend on a specific assessment” in each individual case.