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For the urgent attention of the investment manager
Dear Investment Manager,
Request for Assurance that Does not have Investments in Companies Complicit in Illegal Israeli Settlements on Palestinian Land
I understand that you have been contacted a number of times by Palestine Support Network – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Australia (BDSA) about your exposure to serious human rights violations and illegalities committed by Israel in occupied Palestine. I am writing because you have yet to adequately respond or address the urgent humanitarian issues that BDSA has raised.
The correspondence advised you of the United Nations Security Council adoption in 2016 of UNSC Resolution 2334, which states that Israel's settlement activity constitutes a "flagrant violation" of international law and has "no legal validity". UN Security Council Resolutions have binding legal status on all UN member states, including Australia.
It also advised you that in 2019, Amnesty International emphasised that Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank is considered a war crime under Article 8(2) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, to which Australia is a party. That Article prohibits the “extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly” – exactly the situation in historic Palestine.
BDSA’s communications also included a link to the United Nations Security Council’s 2020 media release identifying companies complicit with illegal Israeli settlement activity ( Attachment 1).
I am thankful that there are no Australian companies on this list and hope that this remains the case. However, the United Nations Security Council has identified many non-Australian companies that are complicit in the ongoing occupation of Palestine ( Attachment 2).
promotes Responsible Investing in line with your environmental, social and governance (ESG) policy which helps members grow their retirement balances whilst contributing to a more sustainable future. Examples of ESG factors include opposition to "Modern Slavery" and support for "Human rights", "Indigenous rights", and "Diversity and equal opportunity". As an individual, I share these core values.
Your failure to respond to BDSA makes me concerned that is exposed to companies on this list and so in direct conflict with your ESG policy, and that my retirement savings may therefore be facilitating Israeli violations of international law, including war crimes. Has made me an unwitting accomplice in the oppression of Palestinian
I have been made aware of some Australian superannuation funds that have confirmed that they do not have any investments in these complicit companies. I am happy with and do not wish to rollover my retirement savings but failing a satisfactory response to this serious concern you will leave me no choice but to start the process of changing funds. I await your urgent confirmation that my retirement savings are not being used to oppress the Palestinian people.