"Thomas H. Kjærgaard, head of Danske Bank’s SRI department, told Business.dk the bank was looking out for the interests of its customers by not ‘placing their money in companies that violate international standards’. ‘It’s not in itself against national legislation to build a house, but our SRI policy goes further than that. It adheres to UN conventions and analyses them in a political context. It’s the Nordic, UN and EU position that the settlements are illegal and a hindrance to a peaceful resolution. On that basis we can state that this is a violation of our SRI policy,’ he said."Investors in other corporate profiteers--companies such as Caterpillar and Motorola that continue to make money at the expense of Palestinian lives, lands, and liberty--would do well to heed Kjærgaard's words. -- In other divestment news, the energy of campus divestment campaigns continues to grow. Here's Gabriel Schivone writing in the University of Arizona Daily Wildcat:
"In a letter dated Dec. 31, 2009, addressed to the student-led monitoring group, the University of Arizona Community for Human Rights, and to the faculty-based University Committee for Monitoring Labor and Human Rights Issues, the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church relayed its leading research on each Motorola and Caterpillar with regard to the companies’ involvement in the illegal military occupation of Palestine: “For years churches and human rights groups have met with Caterpillar and submitted resolutions urging it to stop providing bulldozers that demolish Palestinian homes.”And here's Aidan McDonald of Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, writing at Rabble.ca:
“During this time,” the church states, “Caterpillar has deepened its involvement with the occupation.” "
"[D]espite Carleton President Roseann Runte's characterization of the university as an institution that is "engaged in solving real-world problems," and her proclamation that it emphasizes human rights and social justice, Students Against Israeli Apartheid -- Carleton (SAIA) has discovered that the Carleton University Pension Fund has tens of millions of dollars invested in...companies which are willing contributors to the litany of social and political ailments that plague our global community....Motorola, BAE and Northrop Grumman are perhaps the most egregious of the bunch, as they all supplied Israel with military equipment that was used in the 2008-2009 bombardment of Gaza....Adopting SRI would go a long way towards making Carleton a more ethical institution, and would align it with its obligations under international law. Similarly, divesting from these companies would be a major step for the BDS movement, and for the pursuit of justice for the Palestinian people. The international precedents for both actions have been set. The pressure is now on for Carleton to do the right thing."Read the rest of Gabriel and Aidan's articles, and then find out how you can start your own campus divestment initiative.