Superfund investments in Palestinian oppression soar – PSNA demands govt action

12 Feb
Free Palestine campaigners’ earlier picket outside NZ Superfund office in Auckland [Photo: Kia Ora Gaza]

PSNA Statement, 12 February 2023

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa has written to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta demanding the government direct the New Zealand Superfund to end investments in Israel’s brutal oppression of Palestinians.

“The Superfund must withdraw its investments in the 112 companies identified by the United Nations Human Rights Council as complicit in the building and maintenance of illegal Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land”, says PSNA National Chair, John Minto.

Two years ago the Superfund had $73 million invested in these companies. Today it is $125 million as broken down here:

“Israel’s apartheid regime is the beneficiary of these Superfund’s irresponsible, human-rights-busting investments”

“New Zealand is shamed by the Superfund’s callous disregard for Palestinians”

Two years ago the Superfund withdrew investments from five Israeli banks who were building and supporting the illegal settlements but ignored the majority of these complicit companies.

We expect the government to act. These reckless investments should be ended by lunchtime tomorrow.

John Minto

National Chair

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa

Further background

Illegal settlements

Late last year Israel elected its most extreme right-wing government ever which has announced its top priority is to expand illegal settlements in defiance of international law and United Nations resolution. 

New Zealand and the United Nations spoke out boldly on this in 2016. Under the previous John Key led National government New Zealand co-sponsored United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 which declared these illegal settlements “a flagrant violation under international law” and said they must “immediately and completely cease.” 

The latest apartheid regime in Israel

Israel’s new apartheid government includes a Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who believes the “the way to deal with Palestinians is to beat them up – not once but repeatedly, beat them up so it hurts so badly, until its unbearable”; a Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben Gvirwho openly admires the anti-Palestinian terrorist Baruch Goldstein who massacred 29 Palestinians in the Ibrahimi mosque in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron in 1994 and a Minister of Finance, Bezalel Smotrich, who believes all Palestinians should be ethnically cleansed from historic Palestine.

Over recent weeks the new Israeli leadership has

·      Overseen the killing of at least 29 Palestinians including five children  in January alone after more than 170 Palestinians, including at least 30 children, were killed across the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem last year. (After the killing of 10 Palestinians in Jenin in late January one Israeli government parliamentarian, Almog Cohen, tweeted “Nice and professional work of the combatants in Jenin. Continue killing them”)

·      Announced plans to encourage Israelis to arm themselves – something which will inevitably increase the toll on Palestinian lives and livelihoods. Already increasing attacks on Palestinians by illegal Israeli settlers have be well documented

·      Begun implementing the final ethnic cleansing of Masafer Yatta in the South Hebron hills

·      Banned the Palestinian flag in public demonstrations

·      Organised a deeply provocative incursion into Al Aqsa Mosque compound – (led by the supporter of anti-Palestinian terrorism and new Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir)

·      Announced Palestinians will never have the right to self-determination in historic Palestine (Prime Minister Netanyahu had previously said that Israeli Jews have the exclusive right to self-determination in Israel by passing the so-called Nation State Law – now this is to be applied to all of the occupied West Bank) which is to be effectively annexed

All these policies are in violation of international law and numerous United Nations resolutions. They are an open challenge to a rules-based international system which we so often say is important for a small country such as New Zealand.

Israeli policies declared Apartheid

Alongside Palestinian groups, Amnesty InternationalHuman Rights Watch and Israel’s largest and most respected human rights group, B’Tselem, have all declared Israeli policies as apartheid. B’Tselem summed it up neatly with the title of their 2021 report “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid”

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