By Tom Anderson & Therezia Cooper
Corporate Watch carried out research, using the Freedom of Information act, into several universities’ investments, procurement of service providers and joint projects. The aim was to examine whether the BDS movement should target British universities’ links with Israeli universities, investment in companies complicit in Israeli apartheid, militarism and occupation or procurement of services from complicit firms.
The following is a list of:
- the university’s collaborations with Israeli companies and universities
- investment in or procurement from Israeli settler companies, Israeli companies, companies selling arms to Israel, companies selling Israeli goods, companies with assets or investments in Israel, companies with significant investments in any of the above.
This is not a ‘boycott list’, simply a guide for campaigners considering launching divestment campaigns against the university. Campaigners may wish to cherrypick companies for divestment who, for example, are directly involved in Israeli settlements or aiding Israeli militarism.
The list has been compiled with the boycott call from the Palestinian Academic Boycott Initiative (PACBI) in mind, here is an excerpt from the call:
“We, Palestinian academics and intellectuals, call upon our colleagues in the international community to comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel’s occupation, colonization and system of apartheid, by applying the following:
- Refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions;
- Advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions;
- Promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by international academic institutions…”
The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)1
SOAS Faculty of Arts and Humanities is funding several academics who are participating in a joint programme with the Hebrew University (Israel) and Al Quds University (Palestine) called ‘Sensory City’.2 The project explores how “sensory landscapes, performed behaviours and the built environment shape narratives of place, space and community in the Old City of Jerusalem.”
Academics in the Department of the Study of Religions are currently preparing a conference on “Jewish Art in its Roman-Byzantine Context” in conjunction with the Hebrew University Jerusalem. This conference is scheduled to take place in Jerusalem in May 2012.
Both projects break the boycott of Israeli academic institutions called for by the Palestinian Boycott National Committee (BNC) and the Palestine Academic Boycott Initiative (PACBI).
BT: Part of a partnership with Israeli telecommunications firm Bezeq.3
HSBC: Investor in BAE Systems, supplier of arms to Israel.4
John Lewis: Waitrose, a part of John Lewis, sells goods from Israel and Israeli settlements.5
Mistsubishi: The company’s products are distributed in Israel by the Israeli company, Mayer Cars and Trucks.6 Mitsubishi generators are distributed by Orcal Industries and Mechanisation, whose generators are used in Atarot military checkpoint in the West Bank.7
Unilever: Unilever fully owns Beigel and Beigel, a baked goods’ factory in the industrial zone of Barkan, which is a settlement in the occupied West Bank. In 2010, Unilever has announced it will move the factory of Beigel and Beigel from the settlement, however this has not happened yet.8
L’Oreal: Operates in Israel. Its Israeli subsidiary’s HQ is in Migdal Haemek, on land expropriated from the Palestinian community of Mujaydil.9 L’Oreal own Vichy, whose products are sold/promoted in several pharmacies in settlements in the West Bank.10
Nestle: The company owns 50.1% of the Israeli Osem corporation. Osem plans to build a factory for Nestle in Israel.11 Osem is a customer of two companies based in the settlements.12
Thermo Fischer: a partner of ICx Technlogies, supplier of security systems for the settlements, apartheid wall and checkpoints.13
Tesco: Sells Israeli and Israeli settlement produce.14 Tesco sources plastic bags from Adir, a company based in Mishor Adumim.15
Prudential: Investor in several companies who supply arms to Israel including Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon.16
Cisco: Has R&D investments in Israel.17 The company is a customer of Marvell Systems Solutions Israel.18
Johnson and Johnson: Opened office in Israel near Shfayim. Took-over Biosense, a Haifa-based producer of medical equipment19
For a full list of SOAS investments click here Portfolio Valuation as at 31.3.2011
3m: A customer of Ofertex. Ofertex is an Israeli company based in Barkan Industrial Zone in the occupied West Bank.20
Barclays: Hold shares in Raytheon,21 and provide market maker services to ITT,22 suppliers of arms to Israel. Barclays are also a major shareholder in Chevrolet and Rapiscan who supply baggage scanners for use at Israeli checkpoints.23 24
BNP Paribas: Operates branches in Israel.25
BT: Part of a partnership with Israeli telecommunications firm Bezeq.26
Dell: A customer of Marvell Systems Solutions Israel.27
Hewlett Packard: Operates in Ra’aana High tech park and has a laboratory in Haifa’s Technion.29
Honeywell: Partner of ICx Technlogies, supplier of security systems for the settlements, apartheid wall and checkpoints.30
ISS: Provides ‘manpower’ services in Israeli settlements.31
Lloyds: Principal banker for BAE32 supplier of arms to Israel.33
Parsons Brinckerhoff: Provided planning services for the A1 train line through the West Bank (purchased by Balfour Beatty in 2009).34
Hebrew University: Israeli University
For a full list of SOAS service providers click here List Of Commercial Contacts 2009-10
4 thoughts on “British Universities’ Links to Israel – Part One: SOAS”
Co-op store (Hereford) are selling new potatoes ‘Grown specially for the Co-op in Israel’
the co op do not stock goods from Israeli settlements but currently refuse to boycott Israeli goods
Reblogged this on Tormented Critic and commented:
So the University i’ll be joining has a plethora of investments in companies with high profile links with Israel (where by the way they are producing goods on land expropriated from the Palestinians!) Not impressed. Will take this up if this is still the case. I assume the students are already on to this. This is just another lamentable point on how education is just seen as a commodity .
actually there aren’t that many students active on this at SOAS. We’d be more than happy to help you get a campaign going – email email@example.com if you need more info