East Sussex Council: Stop Investing In Israeli War Crimes

East Sussex workers should not have their pension contributions invested into companies that supply Israel's war machine. That was the demand made to councillors as they arrived for the recent East Sussex Council meeting at Lewes

The East Sussex Pension Fund has investments in excess of £71 million in companies that are complicit in Israel's violations of international law, in Israel's war crimes against the civilian population of besieged Gaza and which aid Israel's abuses of Palestinian human rights. The majority of these companies directly supply the Israeli military forces. Five of the companies are listed in the United Nations Human Rights Office's list of companies active in illegal Israeli settlements.

The PSC database of companies that aid Israel's violations of international law show that there are 53 such companies in the East Sussex Pension Fund. They include:

Raytheon (£1,117,335). Raytheon produces bunker buster bombs that have been used by Israel to target civilian homes in Gaza.

Lockheed Martin (£3,268,629) provides Israel with F-16 fighter jets.

Thales (£907,210) produces the armoured Watchkeeper WK 450 Drone.

BAE Systems (£3,603,773) has a workshare agreement with Lockheed Martin to produce the US F-35 stealth combat aircraft. Israel took delivery of its first F-35 in 2016. BAE has worked in cooperation with Lockheed Martin and Rafael to produce and market the naval Protector drone used to maintain the siege of Gaza along the Mediterranean coast.

Boeing (£1,056,614) manufacturers the Apache attack helicopter. These helicopters played a prominent role in Israel's 2006 Invasion of Southern Lebanon which killed nearly 2000 civilians.

Caterpillar (£1,131,076) supplies the Israeli military with D9 bulldozers which are used to demolish Palestinian homes, schools, villages and civilian infrastructure, including sewage and water pipes - in order to make way for illegal Israeli settlements.

G4S (£355,674) helps Israel run prisons where Palestinian political prisoners are held without trial.

General Electric (£1,569,679) General Electric's engines are used in Israel's military Apache and Sea-Hawk helicopters and F-16 and F-15 fighter jets.

Hewlett Packard (HP) (£321,887) HP Inc. is the exclusive provider of computers to the Israeli military, HP Enterprise provides servers and technology used in Israeli prisons.

Honeywell (£1,503,217) supplies components for Israeli military bombs and supplies engines for the Israeli jet aircraft trainer fleet.

L3 Harris (£331,508) in association with Elbit systems assembled the Hermes 900 UAV, a lethal drone that was used during the attacks on Gaza in the summer of 2014. It supplies screening and scanning machines used at checkpoints.

Northrop Grumman (£555,311) supplies the Israeli Air Force with the Longbow missile delivery system for its Apache helicopters and with laser weapon delivery systems for its fighter jets. It has also supplied the Israeli navy with Sa'ar V missile gunships.

UN listed companies
Under the Geneva Convention it is considered illegal for an occupying country to "deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies." The illegality of Israel's occupation and settlement construction has been reaffirmed by a 2004 International Court of Justice ruling. To breach this law is considered a war crime. Hence the campaign's demand: 'Stop Investing in Israel's War Crimes.'

There are five companies remaining in the pension fund that are on the UN list of companies involved in Israel's illegal settlement economy. They are:

Motorola (£211,112). Motorola Solutions provides systems and services to the Israeli Ministry of Defense, the Israeli army and Israeli settlements in occupied territory. It provides the MotoEagle Wide Area Surveillance System (WASS) in settlements and in the Separation Wall, in the wall around Gaza, and in military bases. Motorola is involved "in developing and manufacturing a wide range of electronic fuzes for aircraft bombs and guided munitions. The company provides these fuzes to the Israeli Airforce and for major Israeli defense industries like IAI, IMI and Rafael for a wide range of projects." Motorola has developed the "Mountain Rose" (Vered Harim) advanced cell phone communications system for the Israeli Army in a $90-million contract. The Israeli Ministry of Defense has signed a $100 million, 15-year contract with Motorola to supply the Israeli army and other security forces with encrypted smartphones. The Israel Police special patrol unit uses the Motorola Astro25 communication system during its operations in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Expedia group (£161,636). Expedia is a US online travel shopping company. It lists tourist accommodation, activities and attractions in settlements or run by settlers in the Occupied Palestine Territories, including East Jerusalem.

Booking Holdings (£762,915). US based, headquartered in Amsterdam. Listings on Booking.com's website are in the illegal settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. Booking.com failed to inform consumers of the settlements' illegal status under international law.

General Mills (£555,151). A US-based food company, owns a bakery that is located in the Atarot industrial zone in the occupied West Bank.

TripAdvisor (£11,182).TripAdvisor.com lists locations in the illegal settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

The full list of complicit companies with descriptions is here.

15 December 2021