Norway divests from Israel

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

The Norway Oil Fund has decided to fully divest from Africa-Israel Investments, one of Israel's largest investment firms and corporations.

Norway's Finance Ministry issued a statement saying the divestment from Africa-Israel was implemented because the Israeli company's construction subsidiary, Danya Cebus Ltd., is involved in construction projects in Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.

"The ethics council stresses that construction of settlements in the occupied territories violates the decision of the Geneva convention regarding defense of civilians during war time," read the Norwegian government statement. "Several decisions of the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice have reached the conclusion that construction of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories is prohibited."

Israel disputes what it sees as highly politicized conclusions by the Security Council and the International Court of Justice regarding Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria. While many have forgotten, or choose to remain willfully ignorant, "close Jewish settlement" in Judea and Samaria was actually mandated by the UN's predecessor, the League of Nations, at the San Remo Conference in 1929. That same mandate, also known as the British Mandate for Palestine, was later ratified by the UN.

As such, the building of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria, areas with long and rich Jewish history, does not fall under the articles of the Geneva Convention cited by the Norwegian government.

The Norway Oil Fund is controlled by the Central Bank of Norway and has assets totaling $450 billion. Until this week, $1.6 billion was held in Africa-Israel stock.

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