WAM ABU DHABI, 11th January, 2014 (WAM) — A UAE paper has said that PGGM of Netherlands is to be congratulated as it has found the courage to take its money out of five Israeli banks because of their continued dealings with Israeli colonies on occupied Palestinian land.
The decision by “a major pension fund” comes a month after the huge Dutch water company, Vitens, cancelled cooperation with the Israeli firm Mekorot because of what it described as infractions of international law, referring to its activities in the Occupied Territories.
“These steps reflect growing international fury at the current Israeli government’s arrogance in refusing to do anything substantive to implement a negotiated settlement in Palestine by supporting the two-state Solution,” Dubai-based English language daily the “Gulf News” said in its editorial.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has a policy of allowing continued colony building on the West Bank, rather than freezing and starting to dismantle the illegal colonies that cover a large part of Palestinian land.
The Dutch move comes as tension is growing between Israel and the European Union (EU), which is its biggest economic partner.
The EU has become more vocal in its criticism of Jewish colonies and last July, the EU’s Executive Commission announced it would bar financial assistance to any Israeli organisation operating in the West Bank from 2014. “The worldwide Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is seeking to convince international institutions to cut ties with Israel in protest of its treatment of Palestinians and troubled Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has backed a boycott of the colonies, but not of Israel itself,” the paper wrote.
The much more realistic Israeli peace negotiator, Tzipi Livni, has warned her fellow Israelis that the boycott will not stop with colonies and that “it is moving and advancing uniformly and exponentially”.