Paying a dear price for ignoring Palestinian rights

Israeli businessman and West Bank settlement builder Lev Leviev, someone I’ve discussed before on this site, is currently experiencing some serious financial troubles. It couldn’t happen to a nicer man. But, more significantly, are his troubles partially related to the global boycott campaign against his Zionist expansionism? The Alternative Information Centre investigates:

On 31 August 2009, Lev Leviev, the sixth richest Israeli according to Forbes Magazine, convened a press conference and announced that his company Africa Israel will be unable to meet its financial obligations and repay its debts on time. Leviev’s debt is estimated at nearly Euro 1.4 billion. While this tycoon said in August 2008 that “I will meet all of my obligations, to the last penny,” he admitted in the latest press conference, one year later, that he made serious investment mistakes.

Though Leviev originally made his fortune in the diamond industry, Africa Israel is the flagship of his business empire. The company is well known for its widespread real-estate investments, but also for the fact that it builds in Israeli settlements, or colonies, in the West Bank. The company’s construction projects in areas such as Ma’ale Adumim, Har Homa, Adam and Modi’in Ilit contribute to the ongoing efforts to dispossess Palestinians from their lands, to expand illegal Jewish settlements, entrench Israeli control, and place obstacles to ending the occupation and achieving peace between the Palestinians and Israel.

As a result of these construction projects, Leviev’s business empire came under a massive and well-coordinated worldwide boycott campaign. Although it is difficult to organize a consumer boycott on a real-estate company, because that would amount to convincing people not to live in certain areas, supporters of the Palestinian cause for justice and freedom found creative ways to apply pressure on Africa Israel.

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