Two Danish investment funds divested from Wall and settlement building companies, marking another victory in the BDS campaigns against Africa Israel and Elbit, two companies that have been targeted by BDS activists. In particular, this a critical step in the BDS campaign against companies building the Wall, opened by the Norwegian divestment last year.
Danish Bank (Danske Bank), the biggest financial group in Denmark, has excluded Elbit Systems and Africa Israel from its investment portfolio because of their involvement in providing equipment for the Wall and in settlement construction. The Danish Bank is normally not quick to divest, and its list of excluded companies has now risen to only 24 companies around the globe.
PKA Ltd. (in Danish: Pensionskassernes Administration A/S), one of the largest funds administrating workers’ pension funds in Denmark, also divested recently from Elbit, Africa Israel and Magal Security and Detection Systems.
While Elbit is the more well-known of the two, Magal is no less important and has been involved in the Wall project since 2001, when it won contracts to carry out restoration work on sections of the electronic fence in Gaza. Involvement in the West Bank began around 2002, when Magal won 80% of the bids issued at the time for the installation of intrusion detection systems along the seam line of the Wall.
Explaining their decision Michael Nellemann, investment director of PKA, stated, "the ICJ stated that the barrier only serves military purposes and violates Palestinian human rights. Therefore we have looked at whether companies produce custom-designed products to the wall and thus has a particular involvement in repressive activities. We cannot rule out the inclusion of other companies in our blacklist for their role in this area."
As was the case in Norway, the PKA divested explicity because of Elbit and Magal’s involvement in the construction and maintenance of the Wall. Divestment on these grounds is critical in building the case against Elbit, Magal and other companies involved in the Wall and settlements, and more victories are sure to follow.
For more information on Magal, see Stop the Wall’s fact sheet on companies building the Wall. For more information on the campaign against Elbit, contact us.
Note: Information corrected on February 13, 2010