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Russell Brand calls on companies to divest Israeli holdings over military campaign in Gaza



Comedian and actor Russell Brand, in his satire news show The Trews, has called on companies like Barclays bank and security firm G4S to divest their investments in Israeli companies, to increase international pressure for peace in Gaza.

Israel, which is still engaged in a controversial military operation in Gaza, has numerous affiliations with companies located all over the world. Barclays, claims Brand, is engaged in “scurrilous financial duplicity,” by managing Elbit’s portfolio, an Israeli defence contractor.

Brand, in solidarity with an online petition that calls for widespread divestment, has listed alongside G4S and Barclays bank the bulldozer maker Caterpillar, surveillance-tech company HP, transportation company Veolia and Dutch pension fund ABP.

The comedian has also criticised Barclays “cuddly nature” in promoting its products to the elderly, while being associated with firms like Elbit, who manufacture the Israeli Defence Forces military drones.

The petition has already gained 1.7 million signatures and will increase the pressure on firms like Barclays to withdraw its services from conflict related investments.

Brand said, “Although Hamas deserves much pressure too, it is already under crippling sanctions and facing every kind of pressure.

“Israel’s power and wealth dwarfs Palestine, and if it refuses to end its illegal occupation, the world must act to make the cost unbearable.”

Recently, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, divested his philanthropic foundation from UK security firm G4S, which has gained a controversial reputation for its affiliation to non-humanitarian projects and conflicts.

A similar campaign also called for divestment from Israeli firms as the conflict in Gaza intensified this summer.

Photo source: Joel Telling via Flickr 

Further Reading:

Investors urged to divest from firms involved in Israeli occupation, as Gaza violence escalates

Bill Gates divests philanthropic foundation from G4S

The appropriate arms trade: the UK’s most unsustainable market

£8bn arms sales to Israel under review by UK government

Triodos Bank divests from Google over arms link


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