Posted By: December 09, 2012

 Holy Land Principles Launched
       First Mac Bride … Now Holy Land

  Capitol Hill. Monday, December 10, 2012 – The same man who launched the Mac Bride Principles on November 5, 1984 has now launched the Holy Land Principles – a corporate code of conduct for U.S. companies doing business in the Holy Land (Israel/Palestine, The West Bank, The Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem).
 Fr. Sean Mc Manus – president of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus, and of the recently formed Holy Land Principles, Inc. – said: “The Mac Bride Principles campaign is considered the most effective campaign ever against anti-Catholic discrimination in Northern Ireland. And similarly, I am hoping that the Holy Land Principles will persuade American companies to adhere to fair employment in the Holy Land. If Catholics in Northern Ireland deserve these Principles, who is going to claim Palestinian Muslims and Christians do not?”

 Fr. Mc Manus, who has recently returned from the Holy Land, said: “American principles must follow American investment – everywhere. No exceptions! Irrespective of how Americans view the problem there, one thing is surely right: American investment dollars should not subsidize anti-Palestinian discrimination in The Holy Land. And, therefore, I am confident that Americans will want all the 573 companies doing business there to sign the Holy Land Principles.” [ SEE PRINCIPLES BELOW].

Like the Mac Bride Principles, the Holy Land Principles do not call for disinvestment, divestment or reverse discrimination.
Holy Land Principles, Inc., has been established as a non-profit organization to promote the Principles.

 It will be of interest to see if potential opponents of the Holy Land Principles will make the same misjudgment as the British Government admitted to making in 1999. A senior official in the Department of Economic Development (DED) said: “We did not take him [Fr. Mc Manus] very seriously at first but the Mac Bride Principles have caused serious problems and cost millions to try and counteract.”

 To further promote the new Principles, Fr. Mc Manus has brought out a new edition of his Memoirs: My American Struggle for Justice in Northern Ireland … And The Holy Land. In the book, which now has 424 pages, he draws a close parallel between how the British Government partitioned both Ireland and Palestine.

Fr. Mc Manus mapped out the plan of campaign:
 “The basic strategy of the campaign is to persuade all the 573 U.S. companies in The Holy Land to sign the Principles. They sign by agreeing in writing ‘to make all lawful efforts to implement the Fair Employment Practices embodied in the Holy Land Principles in their operations in The Holy Land’ – the very same language used by companies signing the Mac Bride Principles.
 1. The campaign will be conducted through Shareholders’ Resolutions and through public education.
 2. This book with a personalized letter will be sent to the CEOs of all 573 companies, plus their Investor Relations Contact.
 3. This book with a personalized letter will be sent to all Members of Congress, House and Senate, and all key media personnel.
 4. An extensive Direct Mail campaign will be conducted to prospective supporters – Irish-Americans, Arab-Americans and the faith and social-justice communities.”

Holy Land Principles
American principles following American investment

A Corporate Code of Conduct for U.S. Companies in The Holy Land

American companies have a responsibility to maximize the profits of their shareholders.  And shareholders have the right and responsibility to insist that their profits are earned through ethical corporate practices – that they avoid discrimination based on racial, ethnic or religious identity.

Moreover, ethical investment not only benefits society but also creates stronger and more sustainable profits for their shareholders.

 In the tradition of the Sullivan Principles (South Africa) and the Mac Bride Principles (Northern Ireland), the Holy Land Principles seek to ensure that American dollars do not support discrimination, human rights abuses, or violations of international law in The Holy Land (Israel/Palestine, The West Bank, The Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem). The Principles do not call for disinvestment, divestment or reverse discrimination.

 Responsible corporate conduct is especially urgent today because of the deprivations and sufferings caused by the conflict.

 By endorsing the Holy Land Principles, corporations will enhance America’s security as people in the Middle East see that American companies support equality and fairness for all.

 The Holy Land Principles call on American companies conducting business in The Holy Land to:

   1. Adhere to equal and fair employment practices in hiring, compensation, training, professional education, advancement and governance without discrimination based on racial, ethnic or religious identity.

   2. Identify underrepresented employee groups and initiate active recruitment efforts to increase the number of underrepresented employees to a level proportional to their representation in society.

    3. Make every reasonable effort to ensure that all employees have the ability to easily, openly and equally travel to and access corporate facilities.

    4. Maintain a work environment that is respectful of all racial, ethnic and religious groups.

    5. Work with governmental and community authorities, and support local initiatives to eliminate disparities among racial, ethnic and religious groups in government spending on education, training, access to health care and housing.

   6. Not make military service a precondition or qualification for employment for any position, other than those positions that specifically require such experience, for the fulfillment of an employee’s particular responsibilities.

    7. Not accept subsidies, tax incentives or other benefits that lead to the direct advantage of one racial, ethnic or religious group over another.

    8. Appoint staff to monitor, oversee, set timetables, and publicly report on their progress in implementing the Holy Land Principles.

What You Can Do to Help

The secret of our Mac Bride Principles campaign was its reasonableness and limitation – and, above all, that it anchored the issue right here in the United States. It did not try to tell the British, the Irish, the Protestants or the Catholics what to do. It just said: Whatever the solution over there is, one thing is certain — American investment dollars should not subsidize discrimination.

And that, too, is the guiding principle of the Holy Land Principles. We are not trying to tell the Israelis or the Palestinians what to do – not trying to “chart the course,” not “dabbling in foreign policy” and “not taking sides.”

That is how companies try to wiggle out of their responsibilities. We must not facilitate them. We must stick to the one issue: fair employment by American companies doing business in Israel-Palestine … so that American principles follow American investment.

And remember our trump card: these Principles have already been signed by many American companies in regard to Northern Ireland, passed into law by 18 States and many cities and towns, and passed into U.S. law in 1998.

So our argument is: “Mr. CEO, surely you are not saying  Catholics in Northern Ireland deserve these Principles but Palestinian Muslims  and Palestinian Christians do not?”

Fr. Mc Manus brings a new dimension to this issue, just as he did to the Northern Ireland issue:

(1)               The proclamation of the Holy Land Principles —never been done before.

(2)               Joining the two issues in his Memoirs: My American Struggle for Justice in Northern Ireland… And The Holy Land  — never done before.

This book not only launches the Holy Land Principles campaign but also is its prototype. The book does more than combine the two issues. Most importantly, it establishes and perfectly frames the fundamental point : these principles are American principles – neither Irish/British  nor Palestinian/Israelis –

These  American principles must follow American investment wherever that investment is – no exceptions.

On our Web Site — HolyLand  — we list all 573 American companies doing business in The Holy land. One list gives the contact details of the CEOs.  The other list gives the contact details of the Investor Relations Contact (IRC), the person who deals with the issue. Importantly, his/her email is included, making it easy for you to lobby them.

Please contact the IRCs – early and often!  Urge them to advise the Companies to sign the Holy Land Principles. Remind them that they received a copy of the letter Fr. Mc Manus sent to their CEO, plus a copy of the book. (Fr. Mc Manus sent both the CEO and the IRC a copy of his book).

Since this book states the case and frames the issue perfectly, urge the IRCs to read the book and become conversant with the issue. The fact that a book was sent to both the CEO and the IRC underscores the seriousness of this campaign. It ought to wonderfully focus their attention.

Then tell the IRCs that when they have read the book, you want to meet with them in person if they are in your area. (Of course, you have to make sure you have read the book yourself. You can hardly expect the IRCs to take the book seriously if you don’t yourself… It would be a bit like urging others to read The Bible while not reading it yourself).

Go forth … and make these companies good Americans.



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