Last week, activists from the anti-Israel organization Palestine Action again demonstrated outside Elbit’s offices in the UK, spilled red paint in the lobby, and spray-painted graffiti. Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday, removing four protesters by truck.
— Palestine Action (@Pal_action) August 7, 2020
The organization Ad Kan (Up to Here) appealed to Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi to stop the attacks, and was told that the issue was being handled by the Israeli embassy in London.
Not clear how Israel can stop these attacks which take place on foreign soil.
Members of the Palestine Action group began taking action against Elbit’s offices about two months ago as part of their opposition to British companies’ cooperation with Israel. The latest attack on the company’s offices took place last week.
Ad Kan is demanding that Minister Ashkenazi and Foreign Ministry Director General Alon Ushpiz stop the attacks on Elbit’s offices, and “bring the perpetrators to justice.” In a sent to israeli officials, Ad Kan wrote: “This is a group of radical activists in Israel and in the UK” who have decided to act against the cooperation of British companies with what they call ‘Israel’s apartheid regime.'”
So far, Palestine Action has focused on Elbit, due to the company’s close relationship with the IDF. The group’s activists broke into the company’s offices in the UK twice last month, attacked the guard and vandalized offices and the lobby.
Because of its unique products, mostly high tech weapons, Elbit has been in the forefront of Israeli companies subject to divestment and boycotts. On September 3, 2009, the Norwegian Pension Fund’s ethical council decided to sell the fund’s stocks in Elbit due to the corporation’s supply of surveillance systems for the barrier wall in Judea and Samaria. In January 2010, Danske Bank added Elbit to the list of companies that fail its Socially Responsible Investment policy, including it among “companies that violate international standards.” The Danish financial watchdog Danwatch has placed Elbit on its ethical blacklist, and one of Denmark’s largest pension fund administrators PKA Ltd announced it will no longer consider investing in Elbit. In March 2010, a Swedish pension fund boycotted Elbit Systems. In April 2019, a report titled AXA: Financing War Crimes issued by SumOfUs, highlighted that AXA’s investment subsidiary, AXA Investment Managers, a French investment firm, divested from Elbit in December 31, 2018.
Elbit has also been under investigation by Israel’s state comptroller who last August reported a series of oversights and unexplained moves by defense officials that resulted in the government forgoing a cannon made by the German firm Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) in favor of one manufactured by Elbit Systems. Elbit enjoys deep ties within the country’s security apparatus.
All in all, Elbit is probably the least vulnerable Israeli company out there, and the attacks on its London offices were borderline silly, seeing as it took them some time to hang their slogan banner upright (see the video below).
The Foreign Ministry replied that the matter was known to the staff of the Israeli embassy in London, and was being handled by the local police in England. Indeed, in a rally held last week in front of Elbit’s head offices in London, four demonstrators were arrested.
Nevertheless, Ad Kan director general Gilad Ach sent us a statement saying: “A variety of anti-Israel organizations are working against the State of Israel, both in Israel and abroad. These organizations must be condemned, their actions stopped immediately and fought until they stop blackening the State of Israel and its citizens. I call on the Foreign Minister and those responsible in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs not to stand idly by in the face of international attacks on Israeli elements around the world, to demand that the British law enforcement agencies act to discourage rioters and allow Israelis equal rights around the world.”