The Open Society Foundations, an international grant-making organisation founded by George Soros, funded the creation of a “Business in Occupied Lands” database that singles out business investments in Israel, The Daily Caller reported, citing financial reports from the UK Charity Commission between 2015 and 2017.
The EIRIS Foundation, a London-based charity organisation registered working in the area of responsible investment, used the Soros-tied donations, totalling approximately $300,000, to build the database.
The "Business in Occupied Lands" is promo-ed as a database that provides “free and objective information on ethical finance and corporate activity to the public”. The website appears to focus on two areas: Crimea and “Palestine”, describing them as two “illegally-administered territories”.
Some experts have noted that corporate social responsibility (CSR) is increasingly being used to advance political goals, and has been used to bolster the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a global campaign that encourages various means of pressure against Israel to make the country abide by international law in its dealings with Palestinians.
“In addition to being promoted by groups affiliated with the BDS movement, elements of the Foreign Boycott Campaign have recently been adopted by [corporate social responsibility] advisors and companies that employ CSR programmes. As a result, the Foreign Boycott Campaign represents the intersection of several strains of discrimination with CSR”, Marc Greedorfer, founder of Zachary Legal Institute, penned in an upcoming law review article.
The Zachary Legal Institute is a think tank that specialises in research into BDS and the fight against anti-Israel movements within the US.
Last year, the Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Soros of funding a campaign against the government’s plan to deport African migrants and asylum-seekers. The tycoon rejected the allegations, although did criticise the plan, saying that it was wrong to “send asylum-seekers back to countries where they might be persecuted or killed”.
In July 2017, the Israeli Foreign Ministry blamed Soros for “continuously undermining Israel’s democratically elected government by funding organisations that defame the Jewish state and seek to deny it the right to defend itself”.