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The War of Ideas in the Middle East

Investment Summary

Below is a list of CalPERS and CalSTRS investments in 15 companies that provide equipment and materials to Israel that are used in the violation of human rights and international law.1 These include equipment and materials used for the construction or maintenance of Israeli settlements, the Separation Wall, the destruction of homes, the maintenance of the blockade of Gaza, and that contributed to the invasion and bombing of Gaza in 2008-09.

Investments in US companies total over $3 billion, approximately 4.2% and 3.3% respectively of STRS and PERS equity holdings.

Company CalSTRS Market Value CalPERS Market Value Product Description/Use2

Alliant Tech Systems Inc.

$9.7M $3.9M Manufactures depleted uranium weapons, which apparently were used in Gaza during the 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead.3 It also produces fuses for cluster bombs and Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems; and engages with an Israeli company in the production of rubber-coated bullets, which are frequently used against Palestinians; and is engaged in other contracts that support the Israeli military in enforcing the occupation.

Boeing Corporation

$140.9M $108.9M Supplies F-15 Eagle and AH-64 Apache helicopters, which have been used to attack Palestinians in the Occupied Territories resulting in many civilian casualties. Their missile systems, F-15 software, Apache helicopters and Joint Direct Attack Munitions were used in the 2008-2009 assault on Gaza.


$111.2M $95.3M Supplies bulldozers used to destroy Palestinian homes, orchards and olive groves in the Occupied Territories. This equipment is also used to clear Palestinian land for illegal Israeli settlements, segregated roads and the “Separation Wall;” and its weaponized bulldozers were used in the 2008-2009 assault on Gaza.

General Dynamics

$111.3M $53.4M Manufactures GD 883 engine for Israel's Merkava4 battle tanks, which are used in Occupied Territories; and equipment for MK-84 "general purpose" bombs, which were used in the assault on Gaza.

General Electric

$490.5M $448M Supplies the propulsion system for Israel's AH-64 Apache Assault Helicopter, used in Israeli attacks on Palestinian towns. Also manufactures engines for a number of military aircraft.

Hewlett Packard

$354.9M $301M HP owns Electronic Data Systems (EDS) which heads a consortium providing biometric monitoring of checkpoint, including several inside the West Bank in violation of international law; has full responsibility for the management and operation of the Navy's IT infrastructure. [Note: Israeli Navy has attacked ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza; regularly attacks Gaza's fishermen within Gaza's own territorial waters, and often shells civilian areas in the Gaza Strip.

Israel Chemicals, Ltd.

$17.8M $14.3M Fertilizer and chemicals company (ICL Fertilizers, ICL Industrial Products and ICL performance Products) that produces potash and bromine, with sole extraction rights to Dead Sea from which Palestinians are excluded. All Israeli Dead Sea Minerals, found in cosmetic products, come from Dead Sea Works.4


$26.4M $24.1M Provides the IDF with parts for night vision goggles, used by crews of jets and helicopters, enabling night attacks on Palestinian villages and refugee camps. Purchased arms manufacturer EDO, whose components were used by F-16 aircraft in attack on Gaza.

L3 Communications Holding Corp.

$33.3M $35.4M Supplies SafeView magnometric scanners for Gaza's Erez checkpoint through Hashmira and personal luggage scanners for West Bank checkpoints through Eltal Technologistics.5

Lockheed Martin

$70.9M $61M Largest single overseas supplier to Israeli armaments industry. Its F16I fighter- bombers, the Hellfire missile system for Apache attack helicopters, and Merkava MK4 tanks (produced by Lockheed Martin Skunk Works Group) all were used in assault on Gaza.


$59.3M $35.9M Provides radar systems for security at West Bank settlements; wide-angle surveillance system; fuses for Israeli bombs system. Also supplies the IDF with an advanced cell phone communications system.

Northrop Grumman

$77.8M $58M Collaborates with Lockheed Martin in producing radar for F16I “Storm” aircraft; and radar and Hellfire Missile for Apache helicopters, which were used in assault 2008-2009 assault on Gaza.


$122.1M $53.5M Supplies a variety of missiles that are used against crowded residential areas like refugee camps; also used in extra-judicial targeted assassinations.


$6.1M $1.3M Manufactures Demag Cranes that are used on the separation wall. Subsidiary Amida Industries supplies mobile floodlight towers used by the IDF in the Occupied Territories.

United Technologies

$194.9M $174M Produces Blackhawk helicopters used by the IDF in attacks on Palestinian cities, refugee camps and villages. Also supplies engines for Israel's F-15 and F-16 aircraft, which are used against Palestinians.

  1. All figures have been rounded. For STRS, the financial data is from STRS US Equity Holdings, June 30, 2010, except for Israel Chemical, Ltd., which is a non-US equity holding: For PERS, the financial data is from PERS annual report, June 30, 2010 and represents both Domestic and International Equity and Options: /pdf/xhn5m9Fk8CsKf_annual-investment-report-2010.pdf.

    There might well be other companies that are also culpable, but those cited here are particularly egregious. For instance, both retirement systems maintain investments in International Equity and Options that include Elbit, which manufactures drones and security systems for the "Separation Wall" (and is also involved in the construction of the US/Mexico Border Wall). PERS investment alone is almost $3.5 million.
  2. Unless otherwise noted, these descriptions are based on the "New England United Methodist Church, Divestment Task Force Report." 2010
  3. Report on the use of radioactive weapons in the Gaza Strip during "Operation Cast Lead" (27 December 2008 - 18 January 2009). Report revised and updated, 4 July 2009: