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Monday July 18, 2011 2:03 PM (EST+7)
Tutu calls for retirement company divestment

Read more: Desmond Tutu, BDS, boycott divestment and sanctions, TIAA-CREF, apartheid, divestment, South Africa

RAMALLAH, July 18 (JMCC) - Archbishop Desmond Tutu, winner of the Nobel prize and champion of South African's struggle against apartheid, has called for a US retirement company to divest from corporations that benefit from Israel's occupation.

TIAA-CREF retirement company is the target of a campaign led by Jewish Voice for Peace demanding it divest from firms such as Caterpiller and Elbit that make money from Israel's occupation of Palestinian land.

Tutu backed that call in an opinion piece published Sunday in the Charlotte Observer.

As shareholders with the retirement giant TIAA-CREF head to Charlotte this week for their national meeting, there is one issue they will find conspicuously absent from the agenda: divestment from the Israeli Occupation. Despite pleas from shareholders, including medical professionals, students and academics from universities across the United States, the pension fund refused to allow a vote on a resolution that would have compelled TIAA-CREF to consider divestment from companies such as Caterpillar or Elbit. These are companies that profit substantially from the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.

In an effort, presumably, to avoid the topic altogether, TIAA-CREF even went so far as to move its annual meeting to Charlotte from its usual location in New York City. But even in Charlotte, they will not be able to escape from occupation. Throughout the United States and the world, people will continue to speak truth to power about the apartheid perpetrated in the Holy Land.

I, for one, never tire of speaking out against these injustices, because they remind me only too well of what we in South Africa experienced under the racist system of apartheid. I have witnessed firsthand the racially segregated roads and housing in the Occupied Palestinian territories. I have seen the humiliation of Palestinian men, women and children at the checkpoints and roadblocks. I have met Palestinians who were evicted and replaced by Jewish Israeli settlers; Palestinians whose homes were destroyed even as new, Jewish-only homes were illegally built on confiscated Palestinian land.







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