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October 4, 2012 9:11 am

Quakers Divest from Israel in ‘Absence’ of Definitive Information

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An IDF Caterpillar D9—a machine that often comes under fire when the Presbyterian Church considers divesting from companies doing business with Israel. Photo: MathKnight.

Friends Fiduciary Corp.—a nonprofit managing assets for American Quakers—divested from its holdings in Caterpillar and Hewlett-Packard due to questions over whether the products they sell Israel can be considered “weapons components,” the Associated Press reported.

Using the narrative of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) advocates as the basis for their divestment decision, Friends Fiduciary Executive Director Jeffrey Perkins wrote, “In the absence of that information [on those companies’ sales to Israel], we chose to sell our holdings based on the peace testimony.” BDS activists claim that Caterpillar and Hewlett-Packard profit from non-peaceful uses of their products against the Palestinians, such the bulldozing of homes in Gaza, and the Quaker religion is against weapons usage.

Friends Fiduciary, which is based in Philadelphia, divested from a third company doing business with Israel, Veolia Environment, due to “environmental and social concerns,” according to Perkins. BDS activists protest investment in Veolia because it has contracts for the transferring of garbage from Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

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