Posted By: January 28, 2015

Walk the walk, not just talk the talk, Mr. Krzanich

CAPITOL HILL. JANUARY 27, 2015 —— The CEO of Intel Corporation, Mr. Brian Krzanich, has been challenged to “ walk the walk, not just talk the talk” by a Capitol Hill- based group dedicated to getting the 546 American companies doing business in Palestine -Israel to sign the Holy Land Principles— an 8-point set of fair employment principles.

The challenge comes on the heels of Mr. Krzanich’s speech on January 6 to the International Consumer Electronics Show (International CES) in Las Vegas, where he declared: “I’m here to say tonight, it’s time to step up and do more. It’s not good enough to say we value diversity and then have our workplaces and our industry not reflect the full availability and talent pool of women and underrepresented minorities.”

The President of Holy Land Principles, Inc., Irish born Fr. Sean Mc Manus said: “In that great American expression, I ask CEO Krzanich to ‘walk the walk and not just talk the talk.’ He can do that — loudly, clearly and effectively— by Intel signing the Holy Land Principles. The Holy Land Principles are pro-Jewish, pro -Palestinian and pro-company The Principles do not call for quotas, divestment, disinvestment or boycotts.”

The Holy Land Principles are based on the famous Mac Bride Principles — a corporate code of conduct for American companies doing business in Northern Ireland—which were also launched by Fr. Mc Manus in 1984. He launched the Holy Land Principles on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2012.

Underrepresented Minorities
Last September Intel announced a $6 billion investment (for which it got $300 Million in government grants) in Israel, where the serious problem of “ underrepresented minorities” in the hi-tech workplace has been acknowledged by such industry leaders as Cisco in their 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.”

Bloomberg Newsweek also exposed the problem in its November 26, 2014 article entitled “What it’s Like to Be an Arab Entrepreneur in a Divided Israel.” Bloomberg reported that Jamil Mazzawi upon graduation from Technion, Israel’s preeminent technology university, sent out resumes but “he didn’t hear back from a single employer – a story common among Arab engineers.”

Fr. Mc Manus said:“ In view of the indisputable fact that American hi-tech companies have this problem, surely signing the Holy Land Principles would be, at the very least, an expression of good faith and a first step? However, instead, Intel not only refused to sign the Holy Land Principles but also petitioned, on January 12, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to exclude the Holy Land Principles shareholder resolution we had arranged to be filed for the 2015 proxy vote this May.”

Largest Private Sector Employer

Intel is Israel’s largest private sector employer, with over 10,000 employees. Since Israel’s Occupation of the West Bank in 1967, Intel has invested $10.8 billion in plants and development centers in Israel, and received $1.5 billion in related grants (Reuters, September 22, 2014). Israel’s Finance Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement “Intel’s investment is a strategic asset for Israel’s industry…. This is the biggest investment by a foreign company ever in Israel…”

Intel’s operations and ability to offer fair and equal employment in Israel are further complicated by Israel’s settlements. Israel’s Arab Christians and Muslims are denied equal access to these settlements due to Jewish-only roads and Jewish-only residency requirements. Due to their strategic importance, Israel designates these settlements as Priority A Zones, and offers significant incentives to corporations to invest there. For example, direct grants are available for up to 24% of capital investment and tax benefits are available for seven years. If the investor is foreign (non-Israeli), this tax benefit will consist of a total exemption from income tax for seven years. (“In Vest in Israel” website). Approximately 10% of Israel’s workforce lives in such settlements – but not Israeli Arabs.

Clearly, accepting such tax and investment incentives would be de facto employment discrimination against Intel’s underrepresented minorities, since they could not access equally nor live in such areas. This is why the Holy Land Principles asks American companies to “Not 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).” Yet, in its petition to the SEC, Intel claims Principle #7 “interferes with the Company’s ordinary business operations and involves matters most appropriately left to the Company’s management and subject matter experts.”

Fr. Mc Manus said: “The companies are fighting the Holy Land Principles just as they shortsightedly fought the Mac Bride Principles. However, eventually 116 American companies signed the Mac Bride Principles, having been forced to recognize that it was the proper and fair thing to do. And now the Mac Bride Principles are universally accepted as being the most effective campaign ever against discrimination in Northern Ireland. I am equally convinced that companies will come to realize that signing the Holy Land Principles is the fair and decent thing to do. It puts them on the right side of history, and it’s good for business. Furthermore, surely the companies cannot argue that Irish Catholics in Northern Ireland deserved these Principles but Palestinian Christians and Palestinian Muslims do not?”

Fr. Sean Mc Manus President
Holy Land Principles, Inc. 

P.O. BOX 15128
Capitol Hill
Washington, DC 20003-0849 Tel. 202-488-0107
Fax. 202-488-7537