Irish building materials group CRH has divested from its 25 per cent stake in the Israeli cement market, a development hailed as a victory for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
CRH’s sale of its 25 per cent stake in Israeli cement firm Mashav was revealed in a company market update published on January 7, which stated that the Israeli divestment was the largest of 13 such disposals completed during 2015.
CRH is one of Ireland’s largest multinationals, operating in more than 30 countries worldwide.
CRH had owned a stake in Mashav since 2001, the Israeli holding company for Nesher, a firm whose cement has been used to construct the Separation Wall. The Wall’s presence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory has been condemned by the United Nations and International Court of Justice.
According to the Irish Independent, the divestment ends “a focus of major controversy for the Irish group”, with CRH having been “frequently targeted by pro-Palestinian activists at its AGMs, who pressed for the global building materials firm to sell the stake in the Israeli group.”
Those campaigners are now hailing what Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign chair Martin O’Quigley described as “an important victory for Palestinians whose lives and livelihoods have been destroyed by the unceasing construction of the Apartheid Wall, which steals Palestinian lands, divides communities, destroys the social fabric and makes normal life impossible.”
O’Quigley pointed out that CRH’s divestment is just the latest in a number of high profile victories for the BDS campaign. “‘Brand Israel’, it seems, is becoming increasingly toxic and it appears that international companies are eventually learning that it doesn’t pay to do business with the Apartheid state”, he added.