The announcement on September 3 by Norway’s finance minister that its pension fund would sell its holdings of Elbit Systems Ltd. was the result of an intense campaign led by a number of political NGOs.

On May 14, 2009, the Coalition of Women for Peace (funded by NIF and the EU) – which includes Machsom Watch, New Profile, and WILPF – along with Mossawa (funded by the EU, Sweden, NIF) and ICAHD (funded by Spain and the NGO Development Center – Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden), Zochrot and AIC (funded by Sweden, Ireland, Spain), wrote to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund and called  “upon the Norwegian people to join us in our efforts and to stop investing in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.” This divestment letter accused a number of Israeli and international corporations of “provid[ing] specifically designed equipment for the surveillance and repression of Palestinian population through restrictions of movement and collective punishments.”

The Coalition of Women for Peace is also responsible for the “Who Profits?” divestment website, a project that tracks Israeli and international corporations that allegedly “are directly involved in the occupation”.

The divestment campaign violates the New Israel Fund’s official funding criteria, but NIF leaders continue to provide support for these NGOs. In an August 2006 correspondence, NIF’s Naomi Paiss wrote: “NIF has never funded groups that call for divestment” (emphasis added). Indeed, according to NIF, when a “Law Fellow” made such a call, “NIF immediately disassociated itself from that position, removed [the individual] from the program and revised its selection process for the Law Fellow program.”

Editors Notes:

For more information on the divestment campaign, see NGO Monitor Digest for May 2009.

Other recent publications and reports by NGO Monitor include:-

New Israel Fund – Info File

NGO Government Funding Sources – Info File