New research released today by Palestine Solidarity Campaign has uncovered that a further 16 LGPS funds invest in companies complicit in Israel’s violations of international law, in addition to the 33 released last week. This new data, found by analysing the underlying holdings of investment funds using specialist financial software, brings the total known complicit investments of LGPS funds to over £3.5bn.
Initial research released by PSC on May 29th studied the direct investments of 33 LGPS funds, uncovering a range of investments in arms companies notorious for the manufacture of weapons used against civilian populations, and companies active in Israel’s illegal settlement economy.
The latest figures include investments for West Yorkshire Pension Fund, who invest in CEMEX, a Mexican building materials conglomerate that helps build illegal Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land through their subsidiary, Readymix Industries. CEMEX were included in the UN Human Rights Office’s blacklist of companies active in illegal Israeli settlements.
The research has also uncovered further investments in companies that supply the Israeli military with weapons and technology used against the Palestinian civilian population. F-16 fighter jets and Apache helicopters, both of which contain components manufactured by BAE Systems, have been used repeatedly in Israeli attacks on densely populated civilian areas, resulting in thousands of civilian casualties in Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza.
Despite listing investments worth over £3.5bn, researchers believe this is still a conservative figure and is indicative of the patterns of investments of all LGPS funds. The holdings of some funds could not be analysed as they refused to provide investment data, or the information received was insufficient to conduct a detailed analysis.
Ben Jamal, Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign said: “This additional data confirms what we said a week ago. The vast majority of LGPS funds invest in companies deeply complicit in Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights and international law. LGPS funds must act now to divest from these complicit companies.”