A report released today by Irelandâs largest multinational corporation, CRH, confirmed that the global cement giant has divested from its 25% stake in the Israeli cement market. The company has been a focus of a sustained campaign calling for such a divestment from the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) and other groups for over a decade, due to role its Israeli subsidiary Nesher Cement plays in supplying materials for the building of Israelâs illegal separation wall, checkpoints and settlements.
In the report CRH stated that it had âcompleted 13 divestments in 2015, the largest of which was the disposal of CRHâs 25% equity stake in its Israeli operation.â
That 25% stake was held in the Mashav group, the holding company for Nesher Cement, the sole producer of cement in Israel. Nesher is involved in the building of the separation wall in the West Bank which annexes Palestinian land to Israel, and has been declared illegal by the International Court of Justice. Nesherâs actions support and sustain the ongoing Israeli military occupation of Palestinian land. Nesher Cement is also used in the construction of illegal colonial settlements in the occupied territories, checkpoints that impede travel and commerce for Palestinians, and more than 700 kilometres of Israeli-only roads in the West Bank (See the Who Profits? website for details of Nesherâs involvement).
âThis divestment is just the latest in a number of high profile victories for the global Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. In August last year the French multinational Veolia, which the IPSC also campaigned on, pulled out of its Israel operations which included operating a tram service to illegal settlements. Earlier this month, the communications giant Orange dumped its Israeli affiliate, which had backed the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2014 and âadoptedâ a military unit. âBrand Israelâ, it seems, is becoming increasingly toxic and it appears that international companies are eventually learning that it doesnât pay to do business with the Apartheid state,â Mr. OâQuigley concluded.