Local government pension schemes in England and Wales have almost $3 billion invested in companies complicit with Israel’s crimes against Palestinians.
That’s the stark conclusion of new research released by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign on Friday.
The publication of the new database follows PSC’s recent Supreme Court victory.
Last month the UK’s highest court ruled against a central government regulation that had barred local government pension schemes from divesting from any foreign nation.
The 2016 rule was part of a package of Conservative government measures to protect Israel from accountability through the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.
The PSC published a similar database in November, showing that UK universities have investments in complicit firms worth more than $580 million.
$2.9 billion conservative estimate
The PSC database shows that at least 33 local government pension schemes in England and Wales have direct investments worth at least $2.9 billion in complicit firms.
The true scale of investment however, is almost certainly far higher. As PSC explains, the pension schemes also have indirect holdings via investment funds, which buy shares on their behalf.
Such indirect investment is not included in the database as of yet. Neither are any Scottish local councils. So the figure of $2.9 billion is likely to be conservative.
The database “only displays data we could obtain and verify. It does not include investments made through investment funds and trackers,” PSC explains. It “represents only a small amount of the overall complicity.”
The complicit firms in the database include companies blacklisted by the UN’s human rights office for their involvement in Israeli abuses.
Read more: British municipalities invest billions in Israeli occupation