Palestine Monitor
21 November 2010

Russell Tribunal Examines Corporate Responsibility For Israeli Violations Of International Law

The second international session of the Russell Tribunal is taking place in London. The session will focus on the ways international corporations help to facilitate the Israeli occupation. It follows on from last year’s examination of the responsibility of the European Union and its member states.

Jury members include novelist Alice Walker, Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire and Former Special rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories John Dugard. The session will focus specifically on:

1) Corporations providing tangible services and infrastructure that support illegal Israeli settlements and the occupation of Palestinian territory in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

2) Foreign banks and other financial institutions providing financial services to illegal settlements and Israeli banks etc. trading abroad who provide financial services to illegal settlements.

3) Foreign companies that manufacture products inside the settlements and industrial zones in the West Bank and Israeli companies that export agricultural and other products from the settlements and industrial zones in the West Bank.

4) Foreign companies involved in the export of arms and the infrastructure of war, occupation, colonisation and repression in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israeli companies that export arms and repressive hardware/knowledge abroad.

Critics of the Tribunal questions its power to positively affect the political situation. In a press release, the group have documented the Session’s goals.

1) To co-ordinate existing research and undertake new research on corporate complicity with the continuing Israeli occupation and exploitation of Palestinian territory.

2) To bring pressure to bear on governments and international institutions to act in conformity with international law.

3) To encourage and empower the many groups, NGOs and individuals who are already committed to ending the occupation.

4) To harness the wider concern evident among the public for the fate of the Palestinian that a critical turning point may be reached which will make radical change inevitable.

The session concludes on Monday with a press conference to discuss the committee’s findings. Further international sessions are scheduled for South Africa next year and in the USA in 2012.