Facebook share Share on TwitterRSS feed

Innovative Minds © 2014. All Rights Reserved. www.inminds.co.uk

[Boycott - Other News]

Russell Tribunal on Palestine: Corporate Complicity in Violations of International Law - What can lawyers in the UK do?

5 November 2011

The second international session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine took place in London, in November 2010. It examined International corporate complicity in Israel’s violations of International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law, and War Crimes.

The Tribunal concluded that it has "heard compelling evidence of corporate complicity of Israeli violations of international law, relating to: the supply of arms; construction and maintenance of the illegal separation Wall; and in establishing, maintaining and providing services to illegal settlements".

Following on from this, on 11th February 2011, Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights held a seminar to ask what can lawyers in the UK do next and how can corporations complicit in violations of international law be held to account. Speakers included Shubhaa Srinivasan and Andrew Sanger.

Shubhaa Srinivasan, Andrew Sanger, and Rachel (left to right)

Shubhaa Srinivasan

Shubhaa Srinivasan is from Partner Leigh Day & Co. Solicitors, a firm that specialises in human rights cases involving actions against businesses and multi-national corporations. She is one of the three legal clerks that the Russell Tribunal's London session had and she assisted the tribunal jury in putting questions to witnesses and preparing the conclusions.

Andrew Sanger

Andrew Sanger is an academic at Cambridge University who specialises on the subject of 'Corporations and International Law'.

Rachel, Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights

The speakers spoke for 50 minutes, and was followed by a 20 minutes of questions and answers. the full video is provided below.

After Rachel from Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights introduced the speakers, Andrew Sanger talked about the Russell Tribunal, summarising its proceedings.

Drones are indiscriminate weapons, for every one military target killed it results in 10 civilian deaths - Brookings Institute, Washington 2009

Corporate Complicity

Next Shubhaa Srinivasan looked at how corporate acts contribute to Israeli violations to International Law. These can be split in to three areas of corporate complicity:

  • 1. Delivery of military material and equipment
  • 2. Assistance to the illegal Israeli settlements
  • 3. Assisting in the construction & maintenance of the illegal Wall

Shubhaa Srinivasan

Corporate Complicity - Military Equipment

Shubhaa Srinivasan then analysed in detail the corporate complicity of three British companies to the delivery of military material and equipment to Israel:

1. Brimar

  • Manufactures display components used in Israel's AH-64 apache helicopters
  • UK Government has conceded that the components licensed for export from Britain were 'almost certainly' used by the Israeli armed forced in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.

2. G4S

Multinational British / Danish corporation - owns 90% of G4S Israel (Hashmira), an Israeli security company. Has assisted Israeli in illegal activities by:
  • supplying luggage scanning equipment & full body scanners at military checkpoints in the West Bank, all built as part of Separation wall, whose route has been declared illegal by the ICJ in its Advisory Opinion of 9 July 2004.
  • Supplying security services to businesses in the illegal settlements in the West Bank and settlement neighbourhoods of east Jerusalem.
  • Provides perimeter defence system for the walls of the Ofer prison dedicated to Palestinian political prisoners

3. Elbit Systems & Subsidiaries

  • Leading Israeli multinational in the defence and war industry founded in 1967
  • Business model built on very close relationship with Israeli military
  • Intimate knowledge of Israeli military needs
  • Weapons developed by Elbit were first used / tested by the Israeli military - if successful these are marketed worldwide
  • Western countries continue to do business with Elbit Systems despite its questionable relationship with the Israeli military, purchasing its products, awarding military and defence contracts to its numerous subsidiaries around the world
  • Elbits Hermes 450 UAVs widely employed in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. Countries worldwide have procured and continue to develop UAVs, some of them in conjunction with Elbit's subsidiaries.

    Thales UK (Crawley), partners
    with Elbit in subsidiary U-Tacs

  • British Army awarded Elbit Systems & its partner Thales UK a contract worth over US $1 billion for the development of the Watchkeeper programme.
  • British company UAV Engines Ltd (wholly owned Elbit subsidiary) will produce plane's engines. Another Elbit subsidiary U-Tacs (UAV Tactical Systems Ltd) - a British company operates the Watchkeeper Programme.
  • Complex web of corporations in the security and war industry but if they are disentangled a clear picture emerges of how all of these different desperate corporations from different countries ultimately serve the corporate interest of Elbit.

Andrew Sanger

Corporate Complicity - Israeli settlements

Some corporations such as Ahava are also involved in the assisting of the transfer of the Israeli population - actually complicit in the process of violating international law in transferring Israeli population to the West Bank and also provide considerable assistance to illegal settlements to actually function.

Next Andrew Sanger examined corporate assistance to Israeli settlements. Over 1400 corporations are active in the settlements. The 'Who Profits' database lists 400 of them, and the Tribunal heard evidence on the 12 major corporations. The evidence was from primary sources, all corroborated.

Examples - Israeli Corporations

1. Africa Israel Investments : constructs buildings in settlements

2. Avgol: manufactures non-woven fabrics, which are mostly used in sanitary pads and diapers. Factory in the Barkan Industrial Zone, which is on occupied land in the West Bank.

3. Ahava - manufactures & exports cosmetic products using Dead Sea mud obtained from Mitzpe Shalem, a West Bank settlement established in 1977.

4. Carmel Agrexco - exporter of agricultural produce, some of which originates from the illegal settlements in the West Bank.

Examples - Foreign Corporations

1. Veolia Transport (S.A., Nanterre, France) involved in the construction of the Jerusalem tramline, which Veolia is due to operate.

2. Dexia (Brussels, Belgium) finances Israeli settlements in the West Bank via its subsidiary Dexia Israel Public Finance Ltd.

3. Caterpillar (USA) - supplies specifically modified military D9 bulldozers to Israel.

4. Cement Roadstone Holdings (Ireland) - holds 25% of the shares of Mashav Initiating and Development. Mashav is a holding company that is the sole owner of Nesher Israel Cement Enterprises, which is Israel's sole cement producer, supplying 75-90% of all cement in Israel and occupied Palestine.

5. Penioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn (PFZW) (Netherlands) - 2nd biggest pension fund - investments in 27 corporations that either contribute to Israeli violations of international law or profit from the Israeli occupation.

6. G4S, (see above)


Andrew Sanger

Corporate Complicity - The Wall

Andrew Sanger then looked at the corporate assistance in the construction & maintenance of the illegal Wall. The Wall de facto annexes 16% of the West Bank to Israel and provides an enclosure to illegal settlements.

Corporate Assistance

1. Caterpillar - bulldozers used to prepare the ground for the wall
2. G4S - equipping military checkpoints built in to the wall
3. Elbit -responsible for many sections of the Wall
4. Riwal Holding Group, based in the Netherlands - leased cranes used to construct parts of the Wall.
5. Cement Roadstone Holdings -supply of cement for the construction of the Wall.
6. Ashlad Ltd - manufactures concrete slabs for the construction of the Wall.

Shubhaa Srinivasan

Shubhaa Srinivasan and Andrew Sanger finished with a very interesting session looking in detail at possible legal remedies both under International Law, English Law and Criminal Law.

This was followed by a useful question and answer session.


  • 0:00:00 Introduction - Rachel, Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights
  • 0:01:37 Russell Tribunal - Andrew Sanger
  • 0:06:50 How corporate acts contributing to Israeli violations to International Law was analysed by the jury - Shubhaa Srinivasan
  • 0:10:15 Corporate Complicity - military - Shubhaa Srinivasan
  • 0:19:56 Corporate Complicity - settlement - Andrew Sanger
  • 0:24:00 Corporate Complicity - Wall - Andrew Sanger
  • 0:27:46 Legal avenues under International Law - Andrew Sanger
  • 0:29:33 Legal avenues under English Law - Shubhaa Srinivasan
  • 0:41:35 Legal avenues under Criminal Law - Andrew Sanger
  • 0:50:30 Question Answer session chaired by Rachel
  • 1:10:30 Finish



Source: www.inminds.co.uk

Related Articles

Also Of Interest

Page URL: http://www.inminds.co.uk/article.php?id=10524
Support Us
If you agree with our work then please support us.

Give one time donation:

Setup monthly donation:
INMINDS Facebook Live Feed
Latest Video's
Latest News..
[all-by date]
[all-by category]
[all-by modify date]
INMINDS Twitter Feed
Boycott Israel Campaign
Featured Video's
You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video.
Why boycott Israel on Campus[1:50:05]
12 London universities discuss need for BDS on campuses. Speakers include Rafeef Ziadeh, Ilan Pappe, Karma Nabulsi & Mike Cushman
Love Letters to Gaza[31:08]
A unique theatrical event using personal messages of love, support and hope from people of all ages and all walks of life to the people of Gaza.
John Pilger[7:55]
journalist and documentary maker
Antiwar Mass Assembly 8 Oct 2011
Julian Assange[7:07]
founder of WikiLeaks
Antiwar Mass Assembly 8 Oct 2011
Lauren Booth, Sami Ramadani & Yvonne Ridley[6:28]
Reading the names of the dead
Antiwar Mass Assembly 8 Oct 2011
George Galloway[6:39]
Antiwar Mass Assembly 8 Oct 2011
Jemima Khan[8:42]
Antiwar Mass Assembly 8 Oct 2011
Why Boycott Marks & Spencer 2011?[23:29]
Demo outside M&S Oxford Street(24 Sept 2011)
Sean Clinton[4:59]
Israeli Blood Diamonds Campaign
Al Quds Day rally, Trafalgar Square (31 Aug 2011)
Lauren Booth[5:24]
Al Quds Day rally, Trafalgar Square (31 Aug 2011)
Lauren Booth - Prayer for Gaza[2:46]
Al Quds Day rally, Trafalgar Square (31 Aug 2011)
Benny Morris - Historian or Racist?[34:07]
Activists oppose visit of racist Israeli historian Benny Morris who justifies ethnic cleansing and genocide.
Is Israel applying apartheid?[2:12:56]
Speakers: Yael Kahn, Jody McIntyre and Ghada Karmi (5 May 2011)
Karen Mitchell[48:27]
Partner at Thompsons Solicitors
Life changing visit to Palestine in 2008 (21 Feb 2011)
Ramzy Baroud[1:59:32]
Editor-in-chief of the Palestine Chronicle
"My Father Was A Freedom Fighter - Gaza's Untold Story" (25 Mar 2011)
Women United in the Intifada[2:31:36]
Speakers: Lizzie Cocker, Ewa Jasiewcz, Alaa Kassim, Yvonney Ridley, Isis Amlak, Sukant Chandan, Ramzy Baroud (14 Mar 2011)
George Galloway[1:01:48]
Solidarity with the Middle-East Revolution, support the people - oppose US/UK intervention (SOAS, 11 Mar 2011)
Omar Barghouti[55:08]
BDS Movement co-founder
"Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions" book launch (7 Mar 2011)
Shir Hever[1:49:09]
Alternative Information Centre
The Political Economy of Israel's Occupation, Kings College London (17 Feb 2011)
Why academic boycott of Israel[1:29:37]
Speakers: Mohammed Abuabdou(PSCABI), Mike Cushman(BRICUP), Jodey McIntyre(activist) (8 Feb 2011)
Dashed Hopes - Gaza Blockade[1:23:08]
Mohammed-Ali Abu Najela (Oxfam), Andrea Becker (MAP), Ewa Jasiewicz (Free Gaza Movement) (1 Feb 2011)
Jordan Valley: Apartheid[1:17:12]
Sarah Cobham(Brighton Jordan Valley Solidarity), Chris Osmond (Corporate Watch) (House of Commons, 1 Feb 2011)
Dump Veolia Demo[7:00]
Protesting at settlement supporter Veolia's sponsership of exhibit at the Natural History Museum (23 Oct 2010)
Boycott Israeli Dates [1/2][9:11]
Are you financing Israels brutal occupation this Ramadan?
Boycott Israeli Dates [2/2][9:05]
Are you financing Israels brutal occupation this Ramadan?
Lee Jasper [1/2][10:13]
[4 of 8] Genocide Memorial Day 2010 Session One, 17-1-2010
Lee Jasper [2/2][9:51]
[5 of 8] Genocide Memorial Day 2010 Session One, 17-1-2010
One Oppressor One Bullet[8:11]
Imam Achmad Cassiem, veteran of the armed struggle against apartheid in South Africa, speaks at the StW rally (London, 19 Feb 2005)
Salwa Alenat [1/2][9:56]
KavLaOved (Workers Rights hotline)
[1 of 8] Israel's Occupation - Abuse of Palestinian Workers (LSE 19 Nov 2009)
Salwa Alenat [2/2][8:57]
KavLaOved (Workers Rights hotline)
[2 of 8] Israel's Occupation - Abuse of Palestinian Workers (LSE 19 Nov 2009)
For Anwar [1of2][10:01]
Carmel Agrexco Valentines Action 7 Feb 2009
For Anwar [2of2][9:56]
Carmel Agrexco Valentines Action 7 Feb 2009
[all videos (over 200)..]
Featured MP3 Podcast

"1763 in the Ohio river valley you got Lord Jeffrey Amherst committing to written order an instruction to his subordinate Henry Bouquet, having been defeated by Pontiac Ottawa confederacy in the field. The order essentially says that they have been defeated militarily and is therefore necessary for Amherst forces to request a peace, to sue for peace from Pontiacs people. He instructs Bouquet to convene a parlay with the Indian leadership for that purpose. And as is the custom, as is common courtesy among native populations as was known to the Brits at that time, it would be necessary for those who requested the council to give gifts to those requested to attend. Make those gifts, Amherst says, items taken from a smallpox infirmary in order, I'm going to quote directly now, this isn't a paraphrase: 'in order that we may extirpate this execrable race'. Now key is on this last word, had he said that we might eradicate the opposing combatants, their military capacity, their warriors.. what ever term he wanted to use, it would have been biological warefare. But he didn't say anything about that, he said the 'race'. His intent was to use biological means, to use disease, quite explicitly so, to eradicate an entire population group. And Bouquet was also kind enough to commit to writing in his response the next day, I have done as instructed, dispersing three blankets, two handkerchiefs and sundry other items, hopefully, he says, they will have the desired result. They did.. the lowest estimate of the number of people who died of smallpox as a result of that little gesture of friendship and goodwill is a 100,000!"
American Indian scholar, activist in the struggle for liberation of Indigenous Peoples in America
On the publication of the book 'A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1492 to the Present', 1997 [29min / 10Mb]
[need flash]

[all podcasts..]
To subscribe
enter your email:

If you wish to comment on this page:

(all fields optional)

The opinions expressed on this site, unless otherwise stated, are those of the authors.
All logos & trademarks are the property of their respective owners and their use is covered under 'fair use' policy.
Copyright © 1998-2012 Innovative Minds www.inminds.com All Rights Reserved.
The opinions expressed on this site, unless otherwise stated, are those of the authors.
All logos & trademarks are the property of their respective owners and their use is covered under 'fair use' policy.
Copyright © 1998-2012 Innovative Minds www.inminds.com All Rights Reserved.