Tag Archives: Israel Chemicals

Cleaning your teeth with white phosphorus?

14 Aug

Hamza-300-x-400Hamza Mus’ab Almadani, scarred for life by NZ SuperFund’s investment partners Israeli Chemicals

Dr Vacy Vlazna, gaza.scoop.ps, 13 August 2015

One year ago, on 15 August – 40 days into Israel’s 51 day monstrous assault on Gaza that was clocking up 1800 innocent Palestinian deaths – Adrian Orr, the CEO of the New Zealand Superfund (NZSF) took a cheap shot, a morally cheap low shot, at concerned young protesters who chained themselves in the NZSF office (Auckland) demanding that the NZSF immediately divest from Israel Chemicals (ICL) – a supplier of lethal white phosphorus to the US army for the manufacture of munitions sold back to Israel to barrage fire and death on Gaza.

In response to spokesperson Nadia Abu-Shanab’s passionate urging for divestment, Adrian Orr’s smug retort was,

“Do you brush your teeth? ( Nadia: “Sorry?) “Do you brush your teeth? White phosphorus is used in many places”

Orr is not stupid, paid NZ$800,000 p.a, he knows that phosphate is used in toothpaste whereas the pure evil of white phosphorus, derived from phosphate through an industrial process, is so highly reactive to oxygen it has to be stored under water. Exposed to air, it sears human flesh to the bone, damages the immune system and causes neurological damage.

Nadia then goes on to say, “Palestinians have actually identified the company” and Orr butts in with appalling callous flippancy, “I can identify lots of companies that annoy me in life.”

Annoy? Annoyance is not how I would describe Mus’ab Almadani’s attitude to Israeli Chemicals that supplied the white phosphorus that seared the innocent flesh of his little son Hamza, 3. The pain has branded horrific physical, emotional and psychological scars on Hamza for life. [Pictured above].

Orr admits that Israeli Chemicals (ICL): “sells some to the US defense force, the US defence force then sells some to the Israeli defense force.”

Orr’s offhand comment glosses over the evidence that ICL’s white phosphorus is integrated in munitions used in Gaza: “The Army contracting Command – Rock Island (ACC-RI) has awarded contract W52P1J-13-P-3004 for White Phosphorus to ICL Performance Products LP, used for the Ctg 155mm M110A2.”

Notwithstanding, Orr and NZSF have dug in, refusing to exclude Israeli Chemicals because they “draw a distinction between a company being directly and materially involved in an activity, versus being a supplier of materials or services in the normal course of business.”

That argument wouldn’t go down well with NZ drug enforcement regarding overseas suppliers exporting pseudoephedrine and ephedrine to NZ for methamphetamine manufacture.

NZSF is a government body and so Orr is dutifully following NZ government policy that goes easy on Israel’s genocidal assaults on Palestinian families. Prime Minister John Key, on July 22, 2014, two weeks into Gaza’s hell, parroted Israeli propaganda that Israel had ‘the right to defend itself’ [but not Palestinians, not Hamza] in a conflict between two equal sides. Seriously equal??? – high tech Israeli munitions against a people, the majority whom are children, cut off by land, sky and sea versus piddling rockets.

Key’s opportunistic reference to “the kidnapping of three Israeli teens on the West Bank in early June” pointedly lays false blame on the Palestinians boosted by his devious omission that Israel had killed 16 Palestinians,including 4 children, in the West Bank from January to June 2014.

Orr ends the encounter with the protesters, with bureaucratic pragmatism: “We need to get on with business, we heard you, I will be thinking hard about it”

In his hard thinking Orr must also consider Bank Leumi for divestment. It has an 18% stake in Israel Chemicals.

Orr has had exactly a year to think about it. One hoped in his contemplation he researched Mads Gilbert Night in Gaza or Mohammed Omer’s Shellshocked or Atef Abu Saif, The Drone Eats with Me or Max Blumenthal, The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza.

On August 3, 2015, sixty principled protesters rallied outside the NZSF building in Aukland to remind the NZSF that investment in Israel’s barbaric business of death was not to be done in their name.

Orr refused to meet with them. Seems NZSF staff have acquired the knack to sleep easy at night while working for a company, on behalf of the pro-Israel NZ government, that invests in Israeli war crimes.

Well, New Zealand, here’s a challenge for Adrian Orr – Brush your teeth with white phosphorus or divest from Israel Chemicals!


– Dr. Vacy Vlazna is Coordinator of Justice for Palestine Matters, Sydney, Australia. She was Human Rights Advisor to the GAM team in the second round of the Acheh peace talks, Helsinki, February 2005 then withdrew on principle. Vacy was coordinator of the East Timor Justice Lobby as well as serving in East Timor with UNAMET and UNTAET from 1999-2001.


POST SCRIPT: In response to the above, a correspondent has made the following suggestion:

Ask folk to write to NZ SuperFund CEO Adrian Orr at enquiries@nzsuperfund.co.nz  and Cc john.key@national.org.nz
with just two sentences:

Adrian Orr
CEO, NZ Superfund

Brush your teeth with white phosphorus or divest from Israel Chemicals!
No war crimes investment in my name.

…and click resend every morning to maintain the rage and principle.




NZ SuperFund: Divest from Israel’s war machine

21 Aug




JOIN THE AUCKLAND PROTEST: At the NZ SuperFund office, this Saturday 23 August from 2pm, Queen Elizabeth Square, Downtown CBD.

The NZ Super Fund continues to invest in companies which supply Israel with the means to attack civilians, and in companies which profit from the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. These investments are an affront to international law and the principles of human rights.

The NZ Super Fund website claims that: “The [NZ Super Fund] Guardians are one of 27 founding signatories of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI). The UNPRI provides a framework for shareholders to work together to engage with companies and to improve investment analysis of ESG risks. The UNPRI conducts an annual assessment of progress against its six principles for responsible investment by signatories. From 2008 it was compulsory.”

WRITE to the Guardians of the NZ Super Fund: here is a suggested draft letter –

Adrian Orr, Chief Executive Officer

Matt Whineray, General Manager Investments

Gavin Walker, Chair

We acknowledge that you have already divested from three construction companies for breaking international law in Palestine. However, we urge the Super Fund to divest from the following corporations immediately and from all companies that profit from the occupation, so that New Zealanders can rest assured that their money is not paying for Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine:

United Technologies: produces Blackhawk helicopters used to attack cities, refugee camps and villages. ($7,290,126)

Boeing: sells Israel F-15A fighter jets and Apache AH 64 helicopters used in attacks on Gaza. ($6,579,342)

General Dynamics: manufactures diesel engines used in Israel’s Merkava battle tanks and produces bombs for Israel. ($1,967,381)

Raytheon: produces bombs used in attacking Gaza. ($1,797,902)

Caterpillar: produces militarised bulldozers used to destroy Palestinian homes.

Israel Chemicals: a manufacturer of white phosphorus, which, according to Amnesty International, the Israeli army has used as a smokescreen in Gaza City.

G4S: operates prisons holding Palestinian political prisoners from occupied Palestinian territory inside Israel in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits the transfer of prisoners from occupied territory into the territory of the occupier. They are also involved in the detention of refugees seeking asylum in Israel.

Delek: supplies petrol to the Israeli military.

Bank Hapoalim and ‪Mizrahi Tefahot Bank: finance construction of settlements.


For more information on events in Auckland 23 Aug: 





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