Disney heiress disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company (INDEPENDENT UK) DONALD MACINTYRE 07/18/12)
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Abigail Disney – filmmaker, philanthropist and great-niece of the
legendary animator Walt Disney – has publicly renounced her share of
the family profits from an Israeli firm she claims is
exploiting "occupied natural resources".
Her decision to donate the profits, as well as funds equal to the
value of her shares in the Dead Sea minerals cosmetics firm Ahava,
to "groups working to end this illegal exploitation," is a high-
profile boost to campaigners against trade with Israeli settlements
and companies in the occupied West Bank.
While Ahava´s headquarters is in Israel, the company´s main factory
is in the Jordan Valley settlement of Mitzpe Shalem. The Israeli anti-
occupation, non-governmental organisation "Who Profits" has received
confirmation from the Israeli military under Freedom of Information
legislation that the company is licensed to extract mud from the West
Bank section of the Dead Sea coast. Shamrock Holdings, owned by the
Disney family, is believed to have an investment worth around $12m in
A statement issued by Ms Disney says this is in "direct
contravention" of both the 1907 Hague Convention and the Geneva
Convention by exploiting natural resources in occupied territory.
Settlements are also considered illegal under international law by
most of the international community, including Britain.
Ahava is a well-known Israeli export brand and its skin care products
from Dead Sea minerals and mud are also sold in the company´s own
stores in Germany, Hungary, the Philippines and Singapore.
Ms Disney, 52, said in her statement: "Because of complicated legal
and financial constraints I am unable to withdraw my investment at
this time but will donate the corpus of the investment as well as the
profits accrued to me during the term of my involvement to
organisations working to end this illegal exploitation."
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