GPJA Letter to David Shearer re Super Fund Investments

24 April 2013

David Shearer
Leader of the Labour Party,
Member of Parliament for Mount Albert
david.shearer

Dear Mr Shearer,

We are writing to you in the hope of enlisting the support of you and your party in our campaign to persuade the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to divest itself from three Israeli banks (Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank) and an Israeli petrol company (Paz Oil) that operate within Israel’s illegal settlements in the Palestinian West Bank. We also wish to highlight the case for divestment from the United States company Caterpillar, which supplies bulldozers to the Israeli army.

Our organisation wrote to Gavin Walker, Chair of the Superfund’s Board of Guardians on 4 March 2013 urging that public money be divested away from these companies specifically and Israeli companies in general in line with the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign which aims to force Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories.

We have attached that letter and the 14 March reply from Adrian Orr, Chief Executive of the Superfund in which the Mr Orr sets out to rebut the case for divestment from these companies.
Your views on the occupation of the West Bank are no doubt informed by your experience working for the United Nations in Palestine and your role as leader of the Labour Party. Your views will of course be held in very high regard and respected in the media and by the Superfund officials.

Russel Norman was able to play a key role securing the Superfund’s divestment from corporations involved in nuclear weapons and cluster munitions in 2008. It would be our hope that your public stand on this issue would shine a light on the investments and aid the cause of isolating companies which are involved in perpetuating Israeli settlement expansion.

In September 2011 you wrote, ‘New Zealand should support the Palestinians simply because it’s right. It won’t solve the problem, it won’t stop more settlers building on land that’s not theirs, but it’s an important principle.’ We believe that the divestment of the Superfund away from corporations involved in the occupation can help end the expansion of settlements.

Thus our request Mr Shearer is that you write to Adrian Orr calling for divestment from the three Israeli banks, the Israeli petrol company and Caterpillar. We look forward to your reply and the possibility of discussing this further in the near future.

Kind regards,

jm

John Minto

Global Peace and Justice Auckland

Palestine – lttr to Shearer – 24 April 2013.pdf

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