Protests Erupt Over Dutch Fund's 'Occupation Divestment' Plan

PGGM Pension Fund Pulls Cash From Israeli Banks


By JTA

Published January 15, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside a Dutch finance firm to protest its decision to divest from Israeli banks over their activity in West Bank settlements.

Approximately 300 protesters gathered Monday in Zeist, a city located 20 miles southeast of Amsterdam, at the headquarters of the PGGM pension administrator, which last week announced the divestment from five Israeli banks where PGGM had invested, the rally’s organizers said.

PGGM, the country’s second largest pension administrator, cited those banks’ activities in settlements built by Israel in the West Bank, which the Netherlands and the European Union consider illegal.

The decision exposed PGGM to criticism by several Dutch politicians who accused it of hypocrisy, citing the firm’s ongoing investments in Chinese banks that are active in Tibet.

The protest action Monday was organized by Christians for Israel, a Dutch nongovernmental organization which was established in the Netherlands in 1979.

In a statement, the organization’s executive director, Roger van Oordt, vowed to carry out more protest actions until PGGM reverses its decision. He said he found PGGM’s divestment worrisome because “it is already the third Dutch company in a short period of time that is terminating investments in Israel. It is of utmost importance to show that many people disagree, before more companies follow their example.”

Last month, the Dutch water company Vitens divested from joint projects with its Israeli counterpart, Mekorot, because of its work in East Jerusalem.

In September, the Dutch engineering firm HaskoningDHV pulled out of an infrastructure project in East Jerusalem, reportedly under pressure from the Dutch foreign ministry, which has stated it has a “policy of discouragement” for Dutch businesses regarding projects in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.