Posted By: June 08, 2014

Catholic media pays attention

CAPITOL HILL. SATURDAY, JUNE 7, 2014 — The campaign to get the approximately 546 American companies doing business in Palestine-Israel to sign the Holy Land Principles has escalated this past week, both in the Filing of Shareholder Resolutions and in media attention.

The Capitol Hill- based Holy Land Principles, Inc. has filed Shareholder Resolutions with three American companies that do business in the Holy Land: GE, Corning and Sealed Air. (Shareholder resolutions are proposals submitted by Shareholders for a vote at the company’s annual meeting. Such shareholder advocacy is an important component of socially responsible investing). The Resolutions call on the three companies to sign the Holy Land Principles.[ See GE Resolution  at bottom].

Fr. Sean Mc Manus — President of the Holy Land Principles, Inc. — launched the Principles on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2012.The Irish-born priest is also President of the Irish National Caucus,  and on November 5, 1984,  he  launched the Mac Bride Principles (for Northern Ireland), upon which the Holy Land Principles are based.

Fr. Mc Manus said: “We are pleased by the steady, systematic development of our Holy Land Principles campaign. We have created a substantial “body of work,” the companies are paying attention, and so is the international Catholic media. The article by syndicated journalist Tony Magliano: “The Holy Land Principles: A powerful tool for justice and peace ” [see below] has been published in the Catholic media not only in the United States but in Britain, South Africa and India. And now, with the filing of the three Resolutions, our campaign is escalating and gaining momentum. We had also planned to file a Resolution with Cisco but we did not have the Shares purchased in time, missing out by a few weeks. We had hoped that Cisco would still allow us to file but they refused, However, we will raise the issue at Cisco’s Annual Meeting later in the year, and  we will most  certainly  file next year.”

The “body of work” to which Fr. Mc Manus refers is, in part:
1.     The launching of the Holy Land Principles by the publication of a specially updated version of his Memoirs: My American Struggle for Justice in Northern Ireland … And The Holy Land. The book was mailed with a personal letter to the 546 CEOs and 546 ICRs (Investor Relations Contact: the person who deals with the issue for the company); to all Members of Congress, House and Senate; and to hundreds of journalists in the U.S. The book was also personally hand-delivered to every Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly in Belfast and to every Member of the Irish Parliament in Dublin. Furthermore, all the companies have been receiving a steady flow of letters,  emails and phone calls.

2.     Sending the CEOs and IRCs of the companies significant publications: Why Cisco Should Sign Holy Land Principles, which contains a Special Report that  Holy Land Principles, Inc. commissioned by the Sustainable Investments Institute; and  sending the CEOs and IRCs  Zionism Unsettled  by  the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Fr. Mc Manus chuckled when he was asked what he thought Reverend Ian Paisley would think  — especially in his former more anti-Catholic disposition — of a Catholic priest promoting a Presbyterian publication. “Isn’t America a great country, or what? he laughed. Continuing he added: “You know, it is so true, America is a great country. We are free to raise all sorts of difficult issues without fighting. I am deeply conscious, in all of this, that  in the past, the Catholic Church  helped to institutionalize anti-Semitism all over the world; and when Protestantism emerged in the 1500s, it was just as bad. Martin Luther was ferociously anti-Semitic. Moreover, I am profoundly conscious that the best supporters of the Mac Bride Principles were Jewish-Americans. My dear friend former Congressman Ben Gilman (R-NY), Chairman of the House International Committee, made it possible for me to get the Mac Bride Principles signed into U.S. law in October 1998. I have a great affection and reverence for Jewish-Americans. I hope they will see that the Holy Land Principles are both pro-Jewish and pro-Palestinian — just as the Mac Bride Principles are both pro-Catholic and pro-Protestant. And I hope the companies will see that the Holy Land Principles are pro-company.”

The Holy Land Principles: A powerful tool for justice and peace
By Tony Magliano
During his recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land, the pope of surprises gave the world an unexpected powerful message.
Pope Francis prays for unity between Christians and Palestinians during his visit to the Holy Land.By Tony Magliano. Catholic Online (www.catholic.org) June 4, 2014On his way to celebrate Mass in Bethlehem, Pope Francis suddenly got out of his popemobile and walked toward the towering concrete Israeli-built barrier that divides Israel from the Israeli occupied territory of the West Bank.

In a highly symbolic scene, with Israeli soldiers in a tower above him, Pope Francis touched the separation wall, and prayed with head bowed at precisely the spot where spray-painted messages cry out, “Pope we need some 1 to speak about Justice Bethlehem look like Warsaw ghetto” and “Free Palestine.” Then he touched his forehead to the wall.

“This wall is a sign of division, that something is not functioning right,” said Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi. And Pope Francis’ prayer there, “signifies for me his desire for peace, for a world without walls.”

The Sustainable Investments Institute states that barriers-including the separation wall and border crossings, lack of access to proper government permits, and discrimination-make the prospects grim even for Palestinians able to obtain gainful employment in Israel.

According to The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, even Palestinian citizens of Israel often face discrimination in work opportunities, pay and conditions.

To help correct the discriminatory challenges faced by Palestinians, Irish-born American Father Sean McManus has put forth the Holy Land Principles (www.holylandprinciples.org).

In the tradition of the Sullivan Principles, which were developed to counter racial workplace discrimination in South Africa during the apartheid years, Fr. McManus launched in 1984 the MacBride Principles – a corporate code of conduct for American companies doing business in Northern Ireland.

Fr. McManus explained to me that the MacBride Principles campaign is widely considered the most effective tool against anti-Catholic discrimination in Northern Ireland.

He said he is hoping that the fair employment practices outlined in the Holy Land Principles – which are nearly identical to the MacBride Principles – will be adopted by all 546 American companies doing business in the Holy Land.

“American investment dollars should not subsidize anti-Palestinian discrimination in the Holy Land. American principles must follow American investment – everywhere,” said Fr. McManus.

The eight Holy Land Principles in summary call on U.S. companies operating in Israel and Palestine to adhere to equal and fair employment practices in all areas without discrimination, to actively recruit underrepresented employee groups, and to work with governmental and community authorities to eliminate ethnic, racial and religious disparities in government spending on education, training, access to health care and housing.

Fr. McManus is asking us to email Ms. Penny Bruce (pebruce@cisco.com), investor relations contact person for Cisco Systems, with the request that Cisco sign the Holy Land Principles.

If Cisco – a large American networking company that has a major presence in Israel and the Palestinian West Bank – can be persuaded to sign the Holy Land Principles, Fr. McManus feels confident that many other U.S. companies will find it advantageous to sign on as well.

But in order for Cisco to be persuaded, Cisco will need to hear from many of us.

During his pilgrimage to the Holy Land Pope Francis said, “There is a need to intensify efforts and initiatives aimed at creating the conditions for a stable peace based on justice, on the recognition of the rights of every individual, and on mutual security.”

The adoption of the Holy Land Principles will help do just that.

Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated social justice and peace columnist. He is available to speak at diocesan or parish gatherings about Catholic social teaching. His keynote address, “Advancing the Kingdom of God in the 21st Century,” has been well received by diocesan gatherings from Salt Lake City to Baltimore. Tony can be reached at: tmag@zoominternet.net


WHEREAS, achieving a lasting peace in the Holy Land — with security for Israel and justice for Palestinians — encourages us to promote means for establishing justice and equality;
WHEREAS, fair employment should be the hallmark of any American company at home or abroad and is a requisite for any just society;
WHEREAS, Holy Land Principles, Inc. has proposed a set of equal opportunity employment principles to serve as guidelines for corporations in Palestine-Israel. These are:
I Adhere  to  equal  and  fair  employment practices  in  hiring,  compensation, training,
professional education, advancement and governance without discrimination based on national, 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 national, racial, ethnic and religious groups.
5. Work with governmental and community authorities, and support local initiatives to
eliminate disparities among   national, 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.
RESOLVED: Shareholders request the Board of Directors to:
Make all possible lawful efforts to implement and/or increase activity on each of the eight Holy Land Principles.SUPPORTING  STATEMENT

We believe that General Electric Corporation benefits by hiring from the widest available talent pool. An employee’s ability to do the job should be the primary consideration in hiring and promotion decisions.
Implementation of the Holy Land Principles — which are both pro-Jewish and pro-Palestinian — will demonstrate General Electric Corporation’s concern for human rights and equality of opportunity in its international operations.

Please vote your proxy FOR these concerns