The following points may be helpful when starting a campaign to target Elbit Systems. The first step is discovering investments in, cooperation with and other support to Elbit. Several key forms of involvement with Elbit are likely to be targets of your campaign:
a) Investments of banks or pension funds in Elbit Systems
The biggest institutional investors in Elbit can be found at one glance here.
Many other smaller investors are not listed. It will be up to you to investigate whether a specific pension or investment fund holds investments in Elbit. Banks and public funds, universities, unions and churches have often an obligation to disclose their investments.
b) Contracts with Elbit Systems
Many of the contracts that Elbit is awarded are public contracts with defense, homeland security or other ministries and institutions that buy and use weapons and surveillance systems. Those will likely be awarded in public tenders and often shortlisted offers and corporations are being publicly discussed.
Monitor these developments – the likelyhood of a successful campaign is bigger if you can start the campaign before the contract is actually awarded. Be aware that often public contracts may be announced before the are actually past the final stage of ratification. A contract signed is not necessarily a contract ratified.
c) Funding and cooperation in research and development (R&D) projects
Elbit Systems receives millions of dollars in research and development funding from government and academic research programs that are financed with public tax money. This funding sometimes contravenes rules prohibiting the use of such programs to fund military research. Details of such funding are usually made public, offering ample space for grassroots campaigns.
d) Investments, cooperation and contracts to Elbit subsidiaries
Elbit has a range of subsidiaries, including Elbit Systems of America, Vision Systems International LLC (VSI), Elop, ESLC-T, Elisra, Cyclone Ltd, Elbit Security Systems Ltd. (ELSEC), Kinetics Ltd, Semi-Conductor Devices (SCD), Optronics Industries Ltd. (Opgal), UAV Tactical Systems Ltd. (U-TacS). You can campaign against the contracts and investment in these subsidiaries-
e) Joint ventures and joint project with Elbit
International companies partner up with Elbit to make joint bids for big tenders or to develop new technology. Campaigns can target international companies and pressure them to look for different partners.
f) Arms fairs
Like any other company, Elbit systems needs showrooms to promote the weapons and technologie it has developed while maintaining Israeli apartheid.
You can join forces with other anti-militarization groups and fight these fairs that promote the tools for war and repression produced by Elbit Systems and many other companies.
Some useful things to think about when choosing a target and developing a campaign strategy
a) Discovering the size and importance of the investment
Both large and small investments have their benefits and drawbacks as campaign targets. While the loss of a large investment opens the possibility to make a more tangible effect on a corporate policy, larger investments make for more difficult targets. The loss of smaller investments, while not making a huge financial dent, may be easier to effect and are still impactful in terms of unveiling Elbit’s role in Israeli apartheid and the need for a comprehensive military embargo. They create spaces for future campaigns. Note that the size and importance of investments are always relative to the overall investments an institution holds and the availability of alternative investments.
b) Assessing the likelihood that a given fund will divest based on its specific guidelines
Many banks and funds have ethical guidelines or have made commitments to ethical standards. Elbit clearly violates international law, human rights and the basic principles of any ethical standard. It produces so-called ‘controversial weapons’.
Some investment funds and banks are particularly conscious of their image as ethically responsible investors. They may have a history of divesting from unethical companies. The history of a financial institution can be useful in gauging the likely success of a campaign and can provide useful precedents.
c) Gaining support from stakeholders
If a financial institution manages funds for a public or third sector body such as churches, trade unions or universities, these stakeholders may be sympathetic to the campaign and be able to provide additional pressure.
d) Last but not least: Build joint struggles!
Elbit is one of those corporations that harm people and public interest wherever they are. Not only in Palestine – in many places around the world, Elbit’s weapons and technology are used to repress and kill people. We are standing with all those affected by Elbit’s exports and demand their rights to be respected.
If nothing else, public money spent on Elbit’s weapons and surveillance is money less for healthcare, education and other social services. We gather around the call for #HealthcareNotWarfare.
On this basis, you can integrate the demands of many movements across the globe and build powerful alliances for justice, freedom and equality.