BDS Newsletter #17 – July 2009
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BDS Newsletter #17 – July 2009


Edition: 16 – June, 2009


Norway examines the ethics of its Israel investments
Norway is reexamining its investments in several Israeli companies, in particular Elbit Systems. Two representatives of the Council on Ethics of the Norwegian finance ministry visited Israel at the beginning of June, in the wake of growing criticism of Israel in Norway in the months following last winter’s Israeli offensive in Gaza.

The Norwegian investment in Israeli companies totaled some 2.67 billion kroner, about $428 million, with another 627 million kroner in bonds, about $100 million. The year 2008 saw a significant increase in the number of Israeli companies whose stock the Norwegian fund purchased, from eight in January to 41 by December. Nearly two-thirds of the 41 companies are involved in development and building in the occupied territories, including the parts that were annexed to Jerusalem after the 1967 war. Another 11 international companies in which the Norwegians invest are also involved in the activities of Israeli companies on the other side of the Green Line. [MORE]

Ongoing Campaigns

HeidelbergCement tries to sell West Bank mines as legal, boycott pressures grow
HeidelbergCement, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of building materials, has become the target of legal action in Israel because of its activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The company’s subsidiary, Hanson Israel, manufactures ready-made cement, aggregates and asphalt for Israel’s construction industry and operates a quarry in the occupied West Bank. [MORE]

According to Globes, Nochi Dankner controlled IDB Holding Corp. Ltd. unit Clal Industries and Investments Ltd. announced that it had signed an agreement to acquire to acquire Hanson Israel for NIS 450 million. [MORE]

Latest News

Protests in Jordan over Israeli imports
Some 45 protesters clashed with Jordanian police outside the country’s agricultural ministry in the capital of Amman on Sunday, demanding an end to the import of Israeli fruits and vegetables. [MORE] Jordanian police Sunday arrested 11 people, including trade union leaders, to break up the demonstration. [MORE]

Israel Chems signs Indian potash deal at $460/tonne
Israel Chemicals (ICL) (ICL.TA), the world’s sixth-largest potash maker, said on Monday it signed a deal to supply 750,000 tonnes of potash to an unnamed Indian customer at $460 a tonne. [MORE]

Israelis help drive London property market
London’s commercial property market recovered in the second quarter of 2009, with an increase in the number of purchase deals for offices, in part because of deals involving Israeli companies, according to a report by global real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle. [MORE]

Elbit Imaging to build giant dairy in India
According to Indian reports, subsidiary company Elbit Agricultural Ventures will invest some $125 million in the project. The dairy farm will stretch over some 346 acres and have about 10,000 cows. Part of the creamery will be set up in the Kadapa district. [MORE]

Comverse systems wins three contracts
GTEL Mobile has deployed the Comverse’s ONE billing & active customer management solution in Vietnam. [MORE]

Also, the company announced two deals, one in Belgium and the other in Australia. The company did not disclose the size of either contract, but market sources estimate the aggregate value at $15 million. Belgium’s Telenet and Australia’s Telstra bought Comverse products. [MORE]

Connex joins bus privatization race
Israel’s largest public transport tender has attracted three bids for the privatization of 100 Egged and Dan bus lines in the Sharon region. Sources inform “Globes” that bids have been received from Connex, which is owned by global industrial giant Veolia Transportation Inc.; Kavim, owned by Jacob Shahar and Israel Kass’ Mayer’s Cars & Trucks Ltd. and Horn and Leibowitz; Metropolin, owned by Tour Bus Ltd., Automotive Equipment Ltd. and Etgal Ltd. [MORE]


South African NGOs want Benjamin arrested
The request to file charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity against Israeli and other suspects arising from Israel’s practices reflects similar initiatives taking place elsewhere in the world such as in Britain, Spain, France, New Zealand, Morocco and Belgium. According to Kasrils, the governments of Bolivia and Venezuela are preparing their own cases and in this context. It was therefore important that South Africa, with its experience of apartheid criminality, should afford this issue immediate attention.

Kasrils said an obviously urgent and relevant aspect of Wednesday’s request is for the South African authorities to facilitate the immediate investigation of Lieutenant Colonel David Benjamin, born in South Africa, but who has worked for the Israeli Occupation Forces for the past 17 years. According to recent reports, Benjamin served in the Military Advocates Corps as a legal adviser during Operation Cast Lead. [MORE]

Latest News

BVR to be bought by Elbit Systems
BVR Systems Ltd., an Israeli provider of defense-training and -simulation systems, said it agreed to be acquired by Elbit Systems Ltd. for $34 million. [MORE]

Elbit Systems to maintain new IAF training plane
Defense electronics company Elbit Systems Ltd. has won a contract by the Ministry of Defense for the operation and maintenance of the Israeli Air Force’s (IAF) new trainer plane, the Beechcraft T-6 (“Effroni”). [MORE]

ITL Optronics wins three contracts
ITL Optronics Ltd. US subsidiary Fraser Volpe LLC has won a NIS 38 million follow-on order from the US Army for advanced electro-optical equipment. Deliveries will be made in 2009-10.

The order is the latest in a string of contracts ITL has signed with foreign militaries. On July 6, ITL announced that it had won a NIS 45 million order for electro-optical and night vision equipment for the security forces of a Central Asian country. On July 12, the company announced a NIS 10 million order from a Southeast Asian country. The company did not disclose the names of the countries. [MORE]

Defense co SDS gets Indian Air Force deal
SDS – Star Defense Systems Ltd. (TASE:SDS) has received a NIS 6 million order from the Indian Air Force to supply night vision systems for helicopter pilots. SDS will fulfill the order through a subsidiary. Deliveries will begin in the fourth quarter of 2009 and run through mid-2010. [MORE]


Ongoing Campaigns

EU Eyes Exports from Israeli Settlements
The Hamburg Finance Court must now decide whether Soda-Club devices made in Maale Adumim can be imported into the European Union duty-free, like all other Israeli industrial products. Brussels doesn’t want the company’s products to fall into this category because they are manufactured in Israeli settlements located in the occupied territories. [MORE]

Latest News

Israel to join OECD by May 2010
Following agreement with Finance Minister Steinitz, international economic organization will release its first comprehensive review of Israeli market in November ahead of granting Jewish state full membership. [MORE]

Latin America in Israel’s Crosshairs
Does South American politics move forward in constructing a new continental and global order based on democracy, human rights and mutual solidarity or will it fall pray to Israeli strategies that undermine the emancipation of Latin America and the Global South? [MORE]