[DEBATE] : FW: [newprofile message:2359] Fw: Unilever withdraws from anIsraeli settlement
gallirose1 at tiscali.co.uk
Mon Dec 1 16:39:13 GMT 2008
You may want to publish this piece of good news! Rosemary Galli
----- Original Message -----
From: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights Gaza <mailto:admin at pchrgaza.net>
Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2008
Subject: Unilever withdraws from an Israeli settlement
Please see the following press release issued by the United Civilians for
Peace (UCP), a coalition of 4 Dutch organizations, including Oxfam-Novib
which is one of PCHR¹s main partners. The press release highlights the
decision of Unilever Company to withdraw from a factory based in Barkan
settlement based in the West Bank.
The international investment in the Israeli illegal settlement violates the
international law. The Israeli settlements themselves are a war crime, under
the Fourth 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilians in
times of war.
On this occasion, PCHR welcomes this step and praises the efforts of the
international organizations that support the efforts of the Palestinian
organizations and the Palestinian people to confront settlements and all the
severe violations of the International Humanitarian Law that Israel commits
against the Palestinian civilians and their possessions.
PRESS RELEASE - November 27th 2008
Unilever withdraws from an Israeli settlement
United Civilians for Peace (UCP) welcomes Unilever¹s decision to divest from
a factory based in an illegal Israeli settlement on the West Bank. This
decision comes in a period in which UCP and Unilever Netherlands are engaged
in a constructive dialogue about Unilever¹s presence in Barkan. UCP and
Unilever discussed the ethical considerations with regards to investment in
settlements and Unilever¹s responsibilities within the framework of
Corporate Social Responsibility.
In 2006, a report by United Civilians for Peace concluded that the
Anglo-Dutch multinational owns a 51% share in Beigel & Beigel, a pretzel and
snacks factory. This factory is located in Barkan, an industrial zone in
Ariel, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Last Wednesday, Unilever
announced their decision to divest from Beigel & Beigel.
Since the publication of the report ³Dutch economic links in support of the
Israeli occupation of Palestinian and/or Syrian territories² in 2006, UCP
has advocated the departure of Unilever from the settlement in the Occupied
Palestinian Territories. This resulted in a constructive dialogue with
Unilever Netherlands and UCP research into the legal and ethical
implications of Unilever¹s investment in Beigel & Beigel.
The research document titled: ³Improper Advantage: A Study of Unilever¹s
investment in an illegal Israeli settlement² concludes that:
* The land of the Barkan industrial zone was confiscated from surrounding
Palestinian villages by a military order issued by the Israeli Defence
Force issued in 1981, and declared ³state land². International Law prohibits
the confiscation of occupied land not for military purposes.
*Because the factory is located in an illegal settlement, Unilever complies
with violation of Palestinian human rights and the structural discrimination
of Palestinian workers.
*Beigel & Beigel benefits from subsidies that are allocated by the Israeli
government to the industrial zones in the settlements. Also, the factory has
been guaranteed a state grant for a plan of expansion.
The report is available as of Friday November 28th.
UCP congratulates Unilever with their decision to divest. This important and
constructive step shows that Unilever takes serious both the provisions of
international law as well as its Corporate Social Responsibility. Israeli
settlements form a major obstacle to a lasting peace between Israelis and
Palestinians and the industrial zones play an important economic role in
maintaining these settlements.
Not for publication: For more information and to request a copy of the
report ³Improper Advantage: A Study of Unilever¹s investment in an illegal
Israeli settlement², please contact Merijn de Jong (United Civilians for
+31(0)30-8801581 / +31(0)6-27249753 or merijn.de.jong at unitedcivilians.nl
United Civilians for Peace (UCP) is a Dutch platform that strives for a just
solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. UCP is a joint initiative of
Oxfam Novib, Cordaid, ICCO and IKV Pax Christi. -ends-
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