Ministry summons Dutch envoy over pension fund divestment

PGGM announces decision to divest from Israeli banks; envoy told Israel expects the Netherlands to object the move.

By
January 10, 2014 12:03
1 minute read.
Dutch Ambassador Casper Veldkamp.

Dutch Ambassador Casper Veldkamp 370. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

For the second time in the last month and a half, the Foreign Ministry on Friday summoned the Dutch ambassador to protest against a large Dutch company’s decision to sever ties with Israel.

Raffi Schutz, the ministry’s deputy director-general for European affairs, told the ambassador that the decision of PGGM pension fund to divest from Israel is unacceptable and relies on false pretexts.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Schutz told Ambassador Caspar Velkamp that Israel expected the Dutch government, in “the spirit of friendship between our countries, to take an unequivocal stance against such steps, which only wreak damage to the relations between Israel and the Netherlands.”

The PGGM company announced its decision to divest on its website on Wednesday from Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, First International Bank of Israel, Israel Discount Bank and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank.

PGGM is among the Netherlands’ largest pension fund managers, with assets in excess of €153 billion ($210b.). Its dealing with Israeli banks amounts to tens of millions of euros, according to Haaretz.

It is the latest in a string of large Dutch companies that have cut off ties with Israeli entities.

Last month, Dutch water giant Vitens canceled cooperation with Israel’s water corporation Mekorot because of alleged infractions of international law.



In August, another Dutch firm, the Royal HaskoningDHV engineering company, canceled its participation in building a sewage treatment plant because it was across the Green Line.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN