The New Zealand Superannuation Fund, ($20 billion of taxpayer investments that funds our pensions) currently holds investments in over forty Israeli companies including two Israeli banks that finance the construction of illegal Israeli settlements in the Palestinian West Bank.
Despite the Superfund having an ethical investment policy, $915,806 is invested in Bank Hapoalim and $77,476 is invested in Bank Leumi
According to Electronic Intifada,
Both banks operate in and offer loans to finance illegal settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories....
Both banks have branches in the settlements of Gilo and Pisgat Ze’ev, located in the occupied West Bank. Bank Hapoalim also has branches in the Ramot settlement in occupied East Jerusalem as well as the occupied Golan Heights. Meanwhile, Bank Leumi maintains branches in the settlements of Ma’ale Adumim, Oranit, Kiryat Arba, all in the occupied West Bank, and Katzrin in the Golan Heights.
Israel’s settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and the Syrian Golan Heights violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the Occupying Power to deport or transfer parts of its civilian population into the territory it occupies. Therefore, the local branches of the two banks in these settlements are illegal as well.
Late last year the Superfund divested from three Israeli companies involved in settlement construction and the building of the apartheid wall. It is time for the Superfund to draw a clear line and end all investment in Israeli corporations until the occupation of Palestine ends.
As Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu said in 2012,
Many black South Africans have traveled to the occupied West Bank and have been appalled by Israeli roads built for Jewish settlers that West Bank Palestinians are denied access to, and by Jewish-only colonies built on Palestinian land in violation of international law.
Black South Africans and others around the world have seen the 2010 Human Rights Watch report which "describes the two-tier system of laws, rules, and services that Israel operates for the two populations in areas in the West Bank under its exclusive control, which provide preferential services, development, and benefits for Jewish settlers while imposing harsh conditions on Palestinians." This, in my book, is apartheid. It is untenableNew Zealand money especially should not be used to help finance the construction of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. This is apartheid and it should be boycotted just as we did with South Africa in the 1980s.