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21 Aug 2013

Norwegian Govt. decision to revoke exclusion of Africa Israel from pension fund (Aug 2013)

In August 2010, the Norwegian Ministry of Finance decided to exclude Africa Israel (and its subsidiary Danya Cebus) from the Government Pension Fund Global, following the recommendation of the Council on Ethics.  The decision was based on the allegation that the companies were involved in building Israeli settlements in the West Bank.  In April 2013, the Council on Ethics obtained information that neither Africa Israel Investments nor any of its subsidiaries were involved in the construction of settlements in the West Bank anymore.  Accordingly, in August 2013 the Ministry of Finance decided to revoke the exclusions of Africa Israel Investments and Danya Cebus from the pension fund.

Below are the reports of the Norwegian Council of Ethics and the press release by the Ministry of Finance:

"Repeal of exclusions from the Government Pension Fund Global"
Ministry of Finance, 21 Aug 2013

[PDF] "Recommendation to revoke the exclusion of the companies Africa Israel Investments Ltd. and Danya Cebus Ltd. from the investment universe of the Government Pension Fund Global"
Council on Ethics, 25 Apr 2013

Following the Ministry of Finance's decision, NGOs released the following materials:   

"Israeli firm lying to Norway that it no longer builds settlements on Palestinian land"
Electronic Intifada, 31 Aug 2013

[PDF] "Who Profits re Norwegian Govt. decision to revoke exclusion of Africa Israel & Danya Cebus from pension fund after companies reportedly ceased settlement construction in West Bank"
Who Profits, 27 Aug 2013 

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the Council of Ethics to comment on these materials. The Council of Ethics sent us the following statement: "We are aware of this information and are looking into it."

We also invited Africa Israel to respond to these articles. Africa Israel sent us the following response:

[PDF] Africa Israel response  

In January 2013, the Norwegian government reinstated the exclusion of Africa Israel.
New decisions about the Government Pension Fund Global
Ministry of Finance, 30 Jan 2014