NZ Super Fund divests from Israeli Banks

NZ Super Fund
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“Guardians excludes five Israeli banks on responsible investment grounds….There is credible evidence that the excluded companies provide project finance for the construction of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which is an integral aspect of settlement construction. We believe that without the banks’ involvement the settlement activity would not be proceeding at the scale seen in recent times”

POSTED ON NZ SUPER FUND WEBSITE: 2 March 2021

This was a shocking move by the NZ Super Fund which had no requirement to adhere to Government policy on our Middle Eastern policy (a flawed one). Although they said they were governed by good business practice, that is not precisely true, as the divestment was a political move which they admitted was influenced by (flawed) UN resolutions like UNSC Res. 2334 (23 Dec. 2016). It was a slap in the face to the right of the Jewish People to live and settle on their historical, indigenous and ancestral land. It reeks of the same fragrance of the boycotts campaign of Adolf Hitler against Jewish businesses in Germany throughout the Third Reich, along with what has been termed by some governments as the anti-Semitic campaign of Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions against the State of Israel today. My communications with both the NZ Government and then the Guardians (trustees) of the NZ Super Fund follows, along with their respective responses.

To the Prime Minister:

Dear Prime Minister,

I want to protest the decision made by the board presiding over the NZ Super Fund regarding divesting funds from Israeli Banks. This is anti-Semitic!

It is unfair that the NZ Super Fund should prejudge disputed territory as final status belonging to the Palestinians, when signed agreements by both parties have stated that final status will only be arrived at through direct negotiations—something the Palestinian Authority has been deliberately avoiding for some time now.

Did you realise Prime Minister that this decision was coerced by an organisation which has been banned by states such as Germany for being anti-Semitic? The BDS—Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions—organisation’s modus operandi has also been banned by the USA, Canada and others because of its biased anti-Semitic nature. The purpose of BDS is not a two-state solution, but the elimination of the Jewish State—“from the River to the Sea Palestine will be free!”

I think this is a terrible decision by the board of the NZ Super Fund and one that needs to be rectified from the highest level in this nation. Please help.

Regards and Shalom,

Pastor Nigel Woodley Ph.D.

To the NZ Super Fund:

My initial Email 6 March 2021

To the Board members of the NZ Super Fund:

Dear Board,

I want to protest the decision made by you regarding divesting funds from Israeli Banks. This is anti-Semitic!

It is unfair that the NZ Super Fund should prejudge disputed territory as final status belonging to the Palestinians, when signed agreements by both parties have stated that final status will only be arrived at through direct negotiations—something the Palestinian Authority has been deliberately avoiding for some time now.

Your decision was coerced by an organisation which has been banned by states such as Germany for being anti-Semitic? The BDS—Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions—organisation’s modus operandi has also been harshly criticised and/or banned by the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom and others because of its biased anti-Semitic nature. The purpose of BDS is not a two-state solution, but the elimination of the Jewish State—“from the River to the Sea Palestine will be free!” I know that first-hand, and so does the Palestinian Solidarity Network.

I think this is a wrong decision but one that can be rectified. I hope you will realise you have been duped and coerced into politics. However, I believe the board still has the power to make amends. I sympathise with the board for having the complexities of a controversial political campaign thrust upon it. Please reconsider your decision.

Yours sincerely,

Pastor Nigel Woodley Ph.D.

Subsequent letter to each of the Guardians of the NZ Super Fund:

On 6 March I sent an email to you which has not yet been answered. To remind you I wrote:

I want to protest the decision made by you regarding divesting funds from Israeli Banks. This is anti-Semitic!

It is unfair that the NZ Super Fund should prejudge disputed territory as final status belonging to the Palestinians, when signed agreements by both parties have stated that final status will only be arrived at through direct negotiations—something the Palestinian Authority has been deliberately avoiding for some time now.

Your decision was coerced (I believe) by an organisation which has been banned by states such as Germany for being anti-Semitic? The BDS—Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions—organisation’s modus operandi has also been harshly criticised and/or banned by the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, and others because of its biased anti-Semitic nature. The purpose of BDS is not a two-state solution, but the elimination of the Jewish State—“from the River to the Sea Palestine will be free!” I know that first-hand, and so does the Palestinian Solidarity Network.

I think this is a wrong decision but one that can be rectified. I hope you will realise you have been duped and coerced into politics. However, I believe the board still has the power to make amends. I sympathise with the board for having the complexities of a controversial political campaign thrust upon it. Please reconsider your decision.

Since writing almost a month ago I am still aggrieved that the Guardians of the NZ Super Fund have been mis-informed by those who have a strong bias against the State of Israel. I note in reading your document ISRAELI BANKS AND CONSTRUCTION OF SETTLEMENTS IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES (14 January 2021), that a lot of weight is placed on UN resolutions. The forerunner of the UN was the League of Nations. One of the obligations of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine was to ensure that a Jewish National Home was established between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This includes the West Bank. Respect had already been given to the Arab need for independence in Palestine when everything East of the Jordan River (77% of Palestine) was set aside for Arab independence (the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan today). It was made clear in article 80 of the United Nations charter that such former obligations of the Mandate system, authorised and set in international law by the League of Nations, would still be honoured under the new UN charter.

Lawyers and experts in international Law have come out and stated that whereas the United Nations resolutions are non-binding and only recommendations, yet the agreements made by the League of Nations regarding their Mandate trusteeships were binding in international law. Therefore, I have enclosed two booklets for you to peruse at your convenience. Firstly, The Hague Statement of jurists on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and secondly, an article that was printed as a full page in the NZ Herald on Saturday 28 January 2017 in response to the NZ sponsored UNSC Resolution 2334, Why the Land of Israel Belongs to Israel.

I appreciate you are under pressure for more reasons than one. However, I would humbly ask your consideration of my communication with you because, when millions of dollars are being divested from Israeli banks on the say of one side of the conflict, I believe you are obligated to check the other side of the story. Regarding that UN resolution (UNSC Res. 2334—23 Dec.2016), I can tell you that the leader of the national party (which was the governing power at the time) said to me in a public question and answer session in 2018, “We got it wrong on that resolution”. I have been told by other National Party MP’s that this reply became the public acknowledgement and policy of the National Party on that resolution from that point on.

Please do consider what I am bringing to you.

Sincerely with thanks,

Pastor Nigel Woodley Ph.D.

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