Nov 12, 2010

#BDS: Major Dutch pension fund divests from occupation

The major Dutch pension fund Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn (PFZW), which has investments totaling 97 billion euros, has informed The Electronic Intifada that it has divested from almost all the Israeli companies in its portfolio.

PGGM, the manager of the major Dutch pension fund PFZW, has adopted a new guideline for socially responsible investment in companies which operate in conflict zones.

In addition, PFZM has also entered into discussions with Motorola, Veolia and Alstom to raise its concerns about human rights issues. All three companies have actively supported and profited from Israel's occupation of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip.

Over the past few years, activists in the Netherlands have questioned the two largest pension funds PFZW and ABP about their holdings in companies profiting from the Israeli occupation of Palestine. In September 2009, the Norwegian State Pension Fund decided that it would no longer invest in companies that directly contribute to violations of international humanitarian law. By February 2010, ABP, the largest Dutch pension fund, informed The Electronic Intifada it had also divested from the Israeli company Elbit Systems. At the same time, PFZW confirmed that it held shares in Elbit Systems worth 1.6 million euros.

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