Submitted by: Holy Land Principles, Inc
Posted: Sep 10, 2015 – 10:03 AM EST
Capitol Hill, Washington DC, Sep. 10 /CSRwire/ - Cisco Systems, the huge Silicon Valley technology company, has decided not to contest before the SEC the validity of a shareholder Resolution filed by the Holy Land Principles, Inc.
The Resolution calls on Cisco to sign the Holy Land Principles — a corporate code of conduct for the 545 American companies doing business in Israel-Palestine.
It is thought that Cisco may have been dissuaded by the SEC having previously ruled in favor of the Holy Land Principles when challenged by Corning, GE, and Intel earlier in February of this year. [See explanation of SEC Ruling below from a February Press Release].
Fr. Sean Mc Manus, President of the Holy Land Principles, Inc. and the Irish National Caucus, said: “ We had felt Cisco might be dissuaded from challenging our Resolution before the SEC, but one can never be sure when dealing with massive and powerful companies— as taught by the campaign for our very effective Mac Bride Principles, upon which our Holy Land Principles are based. Speaking truth to power is always unpredictable in individual cases, except we do know that in the end truth and justice prevail. As blessed Martin Luther King, Jr. liked to quote: ‘ The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice.'"
Fr. Mc Manus continued: “ Of course, as also anticipated, Cisco will still oppose our shareholder Resolution, but, very importantly, Cisco has to include our Resolution ( Proposal) in its proxy statement sent to all Cisco shareholders in the world, as Cisco informed us in a letter dated August 26. However, the SEC ruling has established a most important precedent. For the first time in history, a US Government agency (the SEC) has made a ruling regarding the issue of fair employment by American companies in Palestine-Israel. The importance of this cannot be minimized or denied. The SEC has cleared the way. And that happened because for the first time in history those American companies are being finally challenged on their fair employment record in the Holy Land. That is why we keep emphasizing that the Holy Land Principles are filling a vacuum that was crying out to be filled— nobody else, incredibly, had ever done it before we did it.”
Barbara Flaherty, Executive Vice President, Holy Land Principles, Inc. added: “ We look forward to moving the Resolution at Cisco’s Annual Meeting later in the Fall, at a date yet to be published. We urge all shareholders to please vote for the Holy Land Principles resolution — and all stakeholders and people of faith and social conscience, and all those who believe in the Ruggie Principles to encourage Cisco to sign the Holy Land Principles. Please contact Cisco’s Investor Relations by using this link http://investor.cisco.com/investor-relations/resources/faq/default.aspx . Scroll to bottom of that page to submit your email message.”
February 18, 2015
The recent ruling by the SEC has put wind in the sails of the good ship, Holy Land Principles. That ruling stopped three major companies — Intel, GE and Corning —from excluding Holy Land Principles resolutions from their 2015 Proxy Material.
Fr. Sean Mc Manus, President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus, is the Irish-born priest who launched the successful Mac Bride Principles ( for Northern Ireland) in 1984 and also the Holy Land Principles in 2012.
He explained: “ It’s a bit like déjà vu all over again. The companies doing business in Northern Ireland fought us tooth and nail, but eventually the American sense of fair play prevailed and 116 companies signed the Mac Bride Principles. But it took five years for the first company to sign the Mac Bride Principles. And, actually, we got Oxygen Biotherapeutics (now called Tenax Therapeutics ) to sign the Holy Land Principles within a couple of months.”
MAC BRIDE-RUGGIE PRINCIPLES
Fr. Mc Manus noted: “ When we launched the Mac Bride Principles, initially most people didn’t get it. Every political party and grouping in Ireland opposed the Principles. Famous big name Irish-American politicians resisted our campaign, but, as I said, justice prevailed, and now the Mac Bride Principles are universally seen to have played a key role in promoting fairness in Northern Ireland. I have no doubt the same will be true of the Holy Land Principles. Surely no American could argue that Irish Catholics in Northern Ireland deserve these Principles but Palestinian Christians and Palestinian Muslims do not? And surely no American company can claim that they support the Ruggie Principles if they oppose the Holy Land Principles, which are a perfect way to implement on the ground the Ruggie Principles?
Fr. Mc Manus continued: “ It is important to note the SEC’s reasoning. In the case of Corning, the SEC rules: “Based on the information you have presented, it appears that Corning’s policies, practices and procedures do not compare favorably with the guidelines of the [Holy Land Principles] proposal and that Corning has not, therefore, substantially implemented the proposal.’
Both Intel and GE tried to make the case for exclusion as follows: ‘The [the Holy Land Principles] Proposal requires the Company’s board of directors to make all possible lawful efforts to implement the Holy Land Principles, including a principle, outlined in paragraph 7 of the Proposal, not to ‘accept subsidies, tax incentives or other benefits that lead to the direct advantage of one national, racial, ethnic or religious group over another. [Principle # 7] … As a result, by seeking to address the Company’s evaluation of subsidies, tax incentives or other benefits, the Proposal interferes with the Company’s ordinary business...’
NOT ORDINARY BUSINESS
Fr. Mc Manus concluded: “In other words, the two companies tried to argue that entering into a discriminatory situation, which by definition excludes other groups of employees, has nothing to do with fair employment and is just ‘ordinary business’.
It is almost as if Intel and GE tried, so to speak, to stand in the doorway, declaring, segregation was ordinary business, while simultaneously claiming that separate but equal is a valid American fair employment principle. To their great credit the SEC would have none of it. In today’s cynical climate that sees little good in government, it’s nice to be able to say ‘ Three Cheers for the SEC, ’ a U.S government agency.”