Peace activists announce win as SEC tells Boeing to allow resolution at stockholders’ meeting
Chicago, IL – Several members of the Anti-War Committee (AWC) of Chicago purchased shares in the Boeing Company in order to bring a resolution before the stockholders. According to Richard Berg, who submitted the resolution, “The Boeing board refused to submit our resolution to the stockholders, saying it interfered with the regular business of the company.”
On Feb. 5, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) overruled the directors. Berg explained, “Our resolution simply asked for more information about weapons sales to Israel.”
AWC’s Kait McIntyre explained that the Boeing board continues to oppose the resolution. “Boeing now says shareholders don’t care about the issue of weapons sales to Israel. We think it is irrefutable that shareholders care about the value of their stock, which will plummet if they keep selling weapons to Israel in the face of global condemnation.”
McIntyre cited the 2015 UN report that Foreign Direct Investment in Israel dropped by almost 50% in 2014 after the war launched on the people of Gaza.
Israel recently completed their largest arms deal with the U.S., to purchase almost $2 billion in ordnance. Boeing manufactures the largest components of the bombs and missiles, including the guidance systems that turn regular bombs into ‘smart bombs.’ A report by Amnesty International showed that the bombings which caused the most casualties in Gaza came from Boeing’s laser guided, one-ton bombs, the MK-84/GBU-31.
AWC also cites the growing impact of the movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) Israel to show the potential impact to Boeing’s financial standing. In Chicago, the student government at the University of Illinois at Chicago passed a BDS resolution from Students for Justice in Palestine that added Boeing to a list of companies they want the school to divest from because of weapons sales to Israel.
McIntyre also pointed to the impact on brands such as SodaStream, a target of BDS protest for operating a factory in illegal settlements in the West Bank. The company admitted that their share price tumbled in 2015 in significant part because they had to move to a new plant in southern Israel.