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Individual Country CSR Reports


  • A network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and CSR companies are active in promoting boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns in Europe, by lobbying institutions and corporations to divest from Israel.
  • In order to advance their BDS agenda, these groups assert false factual claims and distort legal narratives to accuse Israel of human rights violations and erroneously argue that conducting business with Israel amounts to furthering these alleged violations.
  • These campaigns are based on double standards.  In many instances, the Arab-Israeli conflict is the only armed conflict addressed. Massive labor and human rights violations occurring in oil-rich and economically powerful countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and China are virtually ignored by NGOs and European CSR companies.
  • The NGOs and the CSR partners behind these campaigns deny the context of terrorism, often seeking to sanction companies that provide Israel with products and services to defend civilian populations from attack. These groups ignore international legal obligations on countries to protect their citizens and to prohibit material support for terrorism. The refusal by the NGOs and CSR groups to acknowledge this context in their decision-making processes, their selective approach to international law, and their disregard of Israel’s legal right to self-defense are themselves unethical and immoral.
  • CSR comprises policies, norms, and standards that combine finance and business with environmental, human rights, and ethical standards. However, the examples in this report show that political perspectives on the Arab-Israeli conflict, not ethics or international legal standards, determine CSR-related initiatives targeting Israeli companies and companies that do business in Israel.
  • A central feature of CSR/BDS campaigns by NGOs is false legal arguments, such as:
    • The claim that private corporations are subject to international humanitarian law (IHL). In actuality, every court ruling on this issue has confirmed that only states are subject to this body of law.
    • The claim that conducting business over the 1949 armistice line is illegal. In fact, courts in France, Canada, and the UK have explicitly found no such prohibition under international law. In this vein, the Netherlands advertising board ruled it defamatory to claim a company selling goods or operating over armistice lines was acting “illegally” or in violation of international law.
    • The claim that building the Light Rail train in Jerusalem violates international law. On this issue, a French court noted that occupation law allows for the building of transportation infrastructure.
    • Reliance on the discredited 2004 International Court of Justice “advisory opinion” on Israel’s security barrier. The decision, which has no binding force in international law, has been criticized by many legal scholars for being based on a one-sided conclusory mandate, procedural irregularities, completely ignoring the Palestinian suicide bombing campaign (and the role of the security barrier in preventing attacks), and faulty interpretations of international law. Moreover, the opinion does not address liability of corporate activity.
  • NGOs and interest groups lobby ethical committees in governments (Ethical Councils) and corporations in an effort to divest from Israel by referring to positions and studies carried out by CSR companies. Often, these actors have strong ties with governmental institutions, raising the possibility of conflicts of interest and doubts about their independence.
    • For example, some members of the Norwegian Ethical Council also work in the same CSR companies that advise the Council. CSR company SIGLA’s founder and director, Ylva Lindbergh, is currently a member of the Norwegian Ethical Council, which advises the Ministry of Finance on divestment decisions. Among its clients are other divestment actors: the companies Hydro and Nordea, as well as a CSR company, Ethix, which is involved in Danish divestment campaigns.
  • The European NGOs involved in CSR attacks include:
    • The “European Coordination Committee and Associations for Palestine,” a network that includes Norwegian, French, and Irish NGOs. Also linked to major Palestinian and Israeli NGOs that share a commitment to BDS against Israel.
    • In 2013, Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS) partnered with Intal (Belgium) for a campaign against the Dexia bank.
    • In Ireland, the Catholic association Trócaire and the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign cooperate on several anti-Israel advocacy projects, including pressing for sanctions against Israel in the OECD. Trócaire is member of the UK-based Ecumenical Council on Corporate Responsibility, promoting divestment campaigns in the UK.
    • In 2012, the French FIDH (Fédération Internationale des Droits de l’Homme) and CCFD-Terre Solidaire helped publish “Trading Away Peace,” which repeats the BDS agenda, calling on the EU and national governments to wage political warfare through various forms of economic sanctions on Israel. The publication was drafted in cooperation with several other NGOs, such as Diakonia (Sweden), Norwegian People’s Aid, Christian Aid (UK), and Trócaire (Ireland).
  • Decision makers – banks, corporations, governmental authorities – often rely on an extremely narrow set of sources, which are not fully disclosed, in deciding upon economic sanctions. They also fail to demonstrate the existence of violations of international norms or connections between corporate activity and the alleged violations. The lack of transparency, coupled with the distorted legal arguments mentioned above, reflect the political nature of BDS campaigns that aim to delegitimize Israel.
  • The quasi-judicial procedures of the Ethical Councils do not fully respect due process:
    • It is unclear the extent to which the Councils attempt to obtain company participation in the process, despite the reputational and economic damage of a negative decision.
    • It is unknown to what extent “investigated” companies are given the opportunity to present a defense.
    • Details on appeals processes or procedures for “de-listing” are not publically available.
  • Divestment actors mobilize activists to become shareholders in a targeted company in order to advance divestment motions through a practice called “shareholders’ activism”:
    • The German NGO Kritische Aktionäre, in cooperation with other groups, used shareholders’ activism to promote divestment campaigns at Deutsche Bank and Thyssen Group.
    • Belgium activists became shareholders in Dexia in order to participate in Dexia’s 2011 annual meeting; half of the three-hour meeting was consumed by discussion of Dexia’s investments in Israel.
    • The Swedish Ethical Council uses shareholders’ activism to pressure corporations to comply with its standards or face divestment.
  • Through divestment campaigns, NGOs reinforce Palestinian rejectionism and anti-normalization policies (i.e., opposition to cooperation with Israelis) and act as a disincentive for efforts by the parties in the conflict to overcome their divisions and seek a peaceful solution based on compromise.

BDS Actors

CountryNGO and Church GroupsCSR, Governmental, and Union BodiesIsraeli and Palestinian NGOs
NorwayNorwegian People’s Aid, Palestinakomiteen, and Ecumenical Council of the Church of NorwayInternational Law Policy Institute, SIGLA, Ethix, the Ethical Council (Ministry of Finance), Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (Fagforbundet),

Adalah,Alternative Information CenterCoalition of Women for PeaceGisha,ICAHDWho Profits, and Zochrot in Israel;
AddamerAl-Haq,Al-Mezan, and Badil in the Palestinian Authority
SwedenPalestine Solidarity Association in Sweden (PGS), Kvinna till Kvinna, SwedWatch, and Christian organizations Diakonia and the Swedish ChurchGES Investment Services, Ethix in connection with the Ethical Council of Swedish Pension Funds
DenmarkDanWatch, Boykot IsraelCSR companies include Sustainalytics, GES Investment Services, Ethix, Hermes EOS.
UKCorporate Watch, Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, Stop G4S, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and Boycott Israel Network; Christian groups such as ECCR (Ecumenical Council on Corporate Responsibility) and The Church of England’s Ethical Investment Advisory GroupGovernment pension funds Pensionskassernes Administration (PKA) and Pension Denmark
IrelandIreland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Trócaire, and Sadaka; ECCR (Ecumenical Council of Corporate Responsibility)
GermanyPax Christi-Germany, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)SRI Kritische Aktionäre
NetherlandsUnited Civilians for Peace (UCP)  , a platform established by the Dutch NGOs Inter-Church Organization for Development and Cooperation (ICCO), Cordaid, Pax Christi, Oxfam Novib; The Rights ForumAIV (Adviesraad Internationale Vraagstukken) a quasi-governmental body funded by the Dutch government and tasked with advising the Dutch Ministry of Development and Cooperation, PGGM/PFZW (Dutch Pension Fund), and ABVAKABO FNV trade union
BelgiumCoordination Boycott Israel (COBI) including: Flemish Palestine Committee (VPK), Association Belgo-Palestinienne (ABP), Citizen Movement Palestine (MCP), Centre for Development, Documentation and Information on Palestine (CODIP), Flemish Palestine Committee (VPK), Vrede, and Intal, FIDH, and Belgian sections of Pax Christi International - Pax Christi Vlaanderen  and  Pax Christi Wallonie-BruxellesTriodos Bank, a Netherlands-based bank with a branch in Belgium that claims to be a pioneer in “ethical banking
FranceAFPS (Association France Palestine Solidarité), FIDH (Fédération Internationale des Droits de l’Homme), and CCFD-Terre Solidaire, the European Coordination Committee and Associations for PalestineNovethic and Ethix

Major BDS Campaigns

CountryYearTargeted companies/ industriesDivesting Body/ CampaignNGO involvement
Germany2010ElbitDeutsche BankKritische Aktionäre
Pax Christi-Germany International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)
2012“Settlement” productsLabelingMisereor,
Brot für die Welt,
Pax Christi-Germany
2013“Settlement” productsLabelingMisereor, Al-Haq, Pax Christi-Germany
2013Arms industryThyssenKruppKritische Aktionäre
2014Hanson IsraelHeidelberg CementKritische Aktionäre , Pax Christi-Germany
Norway2006Bank Hapoalim; Emblaze Ltd;
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd; Caterpillar Inc.
Council on Ethics for the Government Pension FundCouncil on Ecumenical and International Relations of the Church of Norway
2008Israel Electric Company (IEC)Council on Ethics for the Government Pension FundNorwegian People’s Aid, Palestinakomiteen, Gisha, Badil
2009Elbit Systems Ltd.Council on Ethics for the Government Pension FundIsrael Social TV, Mossawa, Machsom Watch, Women Against Violence, Coalition of Women for Peace, Stop the Wall
2009, revoked in April 2013 and reintroduced in November 2013Africa Israel and Danya Cebus Ltd.Council on Ethics for the Government Pension FundAdalah-NY Palestinian BDS National Committee, Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, Palestinian anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, Norwegian People’s Aid Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees
2011Shikun & Binui Ltd.Council on Ethics for the Government Pension FundNo information disclosed.
2013CemexNordea Bank, and SIGLANorwegian People’s Aid, together with Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees
2013G4SUniversity of OsloStudents’ Palestine Committee
2013G4SIndustri Energi Trade UnionAddameer, Palestinakomiteen
France2005 -2006Veolia, AlstomConstruction of Jerusalem’s light rail trainPalestinian BDS National Committee, Stop The wall, Amnesty International
2009Veolia, AlstomConstruction of Jerusalem’s light rail trainNorwegian People’s Aid and the Norwegian Representative Office to the Palestinian Authority
2007 -2011Veolia, AlstomVersailles Court of AppealsAFPS (Association France-Palestine Solidarité, Amnesty International-France)
2012“Settlement” products labelingFrench Members of ParliamentAFPS (Association France-Palestine Solidarité), Fédération International des Droits de l’Homme) and CCFD-Terre Solidaire Norwegian People’s Aid, Irish Trócaire, Swedish Diakonia, Norwegian Church Aid, British Christian Aid
Sha’ar Hayarden project
Ethics and Development conferenceMaison des Tiers-Mondes et de la Solidarité Internationale
2013DexiaShareholderssAFPS (Association France-Palestine Solidarité)
Ireland2007Mashav Group LtdCement Roadstone Holding (CRH)Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), Palestinian Federation of General Trade Unions, Jews for Justice for Palestinians
2010VeoliaLocal authorities
Dublin metro
Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), Sadaka
2010“Settlement” products labelingIrish MP and political partiesSadaka
2012Nesher Group
Mashav Group Ltd
Cement Roadstone Holding (CRH)
Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC)
2010 - 2014Ethical councils of investmentIrish MP and political parties
Trade Unions
Local councils
Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), Palestine Centre for Human Rights, ECCR (Ecumenical Council on Corporate Responsibility), Sadaka
Belgium2007Otzar Hashilton Hamekomi (OSM) BankDexia BankAlternative Information Centre, Coordination Boycott Israel (COBI), Palestina Solidariteit (PS), Association Belgo-Palestinienne (ABP), Vrede, Citoyen Mouvement Palestine (MCP),
2014“Made in illegality”Various Belgian companiesIntal, Vrede, Palestina Solidariteit, ABP,FIDH, local branches of Pax Christi
2014Supposed contract to build ports in Ashdod and HaifaJan De NulBelgo-Palestinian Association, Belgium Algemene Centrale van het ABVV (Trade Union), Intal, Belgium Vredesactie, Belgium Palestina Solidariteit, Belgium Nordine Saidi for Citizen Movement Palestine, Belgium (MCP), The Palestine Committee Verviers, Belgium
UK2009“Settlement” produceUK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) voluntary labeling guidelinesOxfam, War on Want
2012Agrexco, Arava Export Growers, Adafresh, MehadrinCo-Operative Group produce boycottPalestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Boycott Israel Network (BIN)
2012G4SStop G4SCorporate Watch,AddameerAdalah,Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) ,Defence for Children International - Palestine Section ,Coalition of Women for PeaceWho Profits.
2013G4SComplaint at the UK National Contact Point (NCP)Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR)
2013Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, First International Bank of Israel, Israel Discount Bank and Mizrahi TefahotPGGM (Dutch Pension Fund)Cordaid, ICCO, IKV PaxChristi, Oxfam Novib, Werkgroep Keerpunt and the Dutch Palestine Committee
Netherlands2013MekorotVitens Water CompanyCordaid, ICCO, IKV PaxChristi, Oxfam Novib
2013Waste water treatment facilityRoyal HaskoningDHVCordaid, ICCO, IKV PaxChristi
2010Africa Israel Investments and ElbitDanske Bank,Ethix
DenmarkNon availableDanya Cebus, Elbit, Aryt Industries Ltd.Danske BankEthix
Non-availableAshot, Magal Security Systems, Ltd., Elbit Systems, Ltd., Aryt Industries Ltd.Pensionskassernes Administration (PKA)Sustainalytics
Non-availableAryt Industries Ltd.Pension DenmarkHermes EOS
2014Bank HaPoalimDanske Bank,Ethix
2014Ahava ProductsMagasin, Salling Matas health care storeICAHD, Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP)
2008Assa AbloyPublication of “Illegal Ground: Assa Abloy's business in occupied Palestinian territory ”Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden (PGS,  Palestina Grupperna i Sverige ), Swedwatch, Diakonia and The Church of Sweden
Sweden2009Elbit Systems Ltd.Swedish Ethical Council
2010Alstom and VeoliaSwedish Ethical Council
2010MotorolaSwedish Ethical Council
2013G4SChurch of Sweden in UmeåChurch of Sweden, Diakonia