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AFSC’s Hatchet Job on Holy Land Principles

Dishonest Critique

Submitted by: Holy Land Principles, Inc

Categories: Corporate Social Responsibility, Socially Responsible Investing

Posted: Mar 22, 2015 – 04:45 PM EST

 

Capitol Hill,Washington, Mar. 22 /CSRwire/ - The AFSC (American Friends Service Committee) has caused great shock, if not scandal, by its pending “ Critique,” in reality an ill-informed diatribe: Holy Land Principles: Lowering the Bar on Human Rights. Furthermore it can only be described as dishonest from beginning to end, and will cause great damage to their noble tradition.

Fr. Sean Mc Manus— President of the Capitol Hill-based Holy Land Principles, Inc. and Irish National Caucus spelt out the dishonesty: “Dishonest in that instead of being an objective Critique, it is a partisan shill for Intel, GE and Corning, actually joining them in its non-objective call: “… we recommend that shareholders do not vote in favor of the shareholder resolutions advocating the Holy Land Principles.” By that alone, it forfeits the right to be considered objective. Dishonest in that that a supposed 'critical examination' contains a slur as title. Dishonest in omitting my role in the conception, birth, and  successful prosecution of the MacBride Principles campaign for over 30 years, and Holy Land Principles today, due to the shared nexus of  both lands having been divided by Britain. Imagine the hubris and sense of entitlement involved in accusing someone like me, who has fought all my life for justice, of lowering the bar on human rights. That takes some chutzpah.

In reality, the instigators of the critique have never led a campaign to get the American companies to sign fair employment Principles. I have both the precedent and the experience of the Mac Bride Principles under my belt. They simply do not understand the power of the Mac Bride-Holy Land Principles. Furthermore, if they felt so strongly about Principles, why did they not come up with their own set of principles? Why attack us whose only claim is that we are filling a vacuum that was crying out to be filled. Why hadn’t they filled that vacuum?”

Fr. Mc Manus continued “ Dishonest in misleading readers toward differences in the two campaigns I've led, rather than their similarities. Dishonest in hiding from the reader MacBride's power and contribution to progress  in Northern Ireland through a simple request: holding American companies accountable for non-discriminatory practices against Catholics. Dishonest in extolling Israel's laws, and American corporate behavior in Palestine-Israel, as paragons of virtue, while omitting any discussions of the work-arounds used to avoid such laws, omitting discussion of the on-the-ground reality of discrimination from cradle to grave against Israel's Arab nationals, and siding with companies who wish to avoid any disclosure of their true hiring practices there.  Dishonest as portraying Israel's settlements as places that offer 'equal access' - that pillar of ILO's Declaration of Fundamental Principles - to Israel's non-Jewish citizens.  Dishonest in suggesting American companies cannot distinguish a state offered financial incentive to locate facilities in settlements from those offered to locate anywhere else.” 

Fr. Mc Manus  explained that , in particular, the dishonesty is clear in the following ways: “Dishonest in portraying Holy Land Principles’ precedent- setting SEC ruling  that acceptance of discriminatory incentives to locate in areas where equal access is denied (i.e. Settlements) is de facto discrimination. Dishonest in omitting how signing the Holy Land Principles would not only require all American companies to avoid accepting incentives to locate in Settlements, but would lead to implementation of such behavior (through affidavits and contract warranties) throughout their supply chains.”

Fr. Mc Manus concluded,“ I could go on and on but looking for mistakes in this “ Critique” is like looking for water in the ocean. But let me finally say, it is dishonest in omitting that implementing the Holy Land Principles would no longer allow companies to paint pretty pictures of employment reality of Israel's Arab nationals without supportive facts, since Holy Land Principles would involve disclosure by companies of their actual hiring practices. For the reality of discrimination against Israel's Arab nationals in Fair Employment opportunities, one has to go no further than statements already made by Cisco in its 2012 Corporate Sustainability Report: ‘Arab citizens constitute 20 percent of the population in Israel, but make up less than 0.4 percent of the high-tech industry workforce.’ Such 50:1 inequality of outcomes for Israel’s Arab citizens, if operative instead for African- Americans, would read ‘Black citizens constitute 12 percent of the population of the United States, but make up less than 0.24% of the high-tech industry workforce."

AFSC can only be ashamed of its alleged “ Critique,” and for opposing fair labor for Israel's Arab Nationals, and siding with companies in their desire to accept financial incentives from Israel to operate in settlements as 'ordinary course of business.  I feel so sorry that AFSC has allowed itself to be manipulated in such an unworthy manner. This “ Critique” will not stop the inherent power of the Holy Land Principles, but it will cast a deep shadow on AFSC. And that I deeply regret because I’ve always loved the Quakers.”

For more information, please contact:

SEAN MC MANUS President
Phone: 202-488-0107
Phone: 202-488-0107

For more from this organization:

Holy Land Principles, Inc

 

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