Who are they?
Lockheed Martin Corporation is a U.S. defense and aerospace company headquartered in Bethesda, MD. It was listed as the No. 1 arms manufacturer in the world in 2012. The company made over $45 billion in sales in 2013.
What do they do?
Lockheed Martin has provided the Israeli military with F-16 fighter jets, Longbow Hellfire missiles, and AH-64 Apache Longbow helicopter parts along with associated training and maintenance. It also supplies C-130 and C-130J Hercules transport aircraft, the MLRS mobile surface-to-surface rocket launch system, and the future fighter jet, the F-35.
Apache helicopters and drones equipped with Hellfire missiles are the primary tool used by Israel for strikes against densely populated Palestinian areas and “targeted assassinations.” Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and United Nations commissions have documented Israel’s repeated and regular use of these weapons in human rights violations and war crimes committed in Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza.
According to the UN’s Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, Hellfire missiles fired from Apache helicopters targeted civilians during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008-9. These attacks were ruled violations of international human rights and humanitarian law and possible war crimes and crimes against humanity. 1394 Palestinian men and women were killed in the Cast Lead attacks, of them 345 minors.
Israeli airstrikes on Gaza are ongoing. Aerial strikes against civilian homes by F-16 jets were specifically recorded and described by independent human rights organizations following the 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza known as Protective Edge. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 2192 Palestinians were killed during the 50 days of Operation Protective Edge, including numerous whole families. More than 20,000 housing units were destroyed, leaving more than 100,000 people homeless.
In its report on Operaton Protective Edge, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights stated that the destruction to both property and civilian life as the result of air strikes, including with Hellfire missiles, could “amount to a violation of the principle of distinction…[and] may also constitute a direct attack against civilian objects or civilians, a war crime under international criminal law.” The report also confirmed that Hellfire missiles were used in the killing of at least 51 people, including 30 children. Warplane airstrikes, including those from F-16s, killed at least 225 children according to a report by Defense for Children International.
In April 2014, Lockheed Martin opened an R&D office in Israel.
For more information see the Corporate Research Project’s Rap Sheet.
Who else has taken divestment action against this company?
- On April 12, 2016, the College Council of the University of Chicago passed a resolution to Divest University funds from apartheid, urging the university “ to withdraw, within the bounds of their fiduciary duty, investments in securities, endowments, mutual funds, and other monetary instruments with holdings in companies profiting from human rights abuses and violations of international law in Palestine, including, Lockheed Martin.”
- The Undergraduate Student Government Assembly at University of Illinois-Chicago unanimously voted on Februrary 16, 2016, to pass a resolution to divest from corporations profitting off the Israeli occupation and other human rights violations, including Lockheed Martin.
- On January 19, 2016, a landslide vote by the University of South Florida student senate passed a joint resolution to divest from corporations who profit from “illegal and brutal occupation” in Palestine, including Lockheed Martin. The resolution was later vetoed by the student government president.
- In November 2015, the University of California Santa Cruz student government reinstated a divestment resolution against Lockheed Martin that had originally passed in 2014, but was suspended pending an appeals process. The resolution calls on the university to drop its investments in any company that “profits from the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”
- In May 2015 the Olgethorpe University Student Senate passed a resolution to divest from Lockheed Martin “based on evidence of their active role in human rights abuses in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”
- Stanford University students passed a resolution in February 2015, urging divestment from Lockheed Martin, among other “companies implicated in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, many of which facilitate parallel injury against communities of color here in the United States.”
- Northwestern University students voted to divest from Lockheed Martin in February 2015, citing its provision of fighter jets and missiles to the Israeli Air Force.
- In February 2015 the University of California Student Association, the official governing assembly of all University of California students, passed a resolution calling for the university to divest from companies “that violate Palestinian human rights,” specifically mentioning Lockheed Martin.
- Students at UC Los Angeles passed a resolution to divest from Lockheed Martin in November 2014, stating Lockheed Martin “provide[s] weapons used in attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.”
- Students at UC Santa Cruz, in 2014, voted to divest from Lockheed, stating that it “provides the IDF with AH64 Apache parts and F16 fighter jets along with associated training, maintenance and parts.”
- A 2014 referendum passed by students at DePaul University decreed that Lockheed “profit[s] from Israel’s violation of the human rights of Palestinians and minorities within Israel.”
- Canada’s York University Graduate Student Association voted in 2012 to divest from Lockheed Martin, citing its role in “Israeli human rights violations, war crimes and oppression.”
- The University of Michigan Dearborn’s student council passed a divestment resolution in 2010, citing “…[sale of] weapons, goods, and services to Israel.
- In 2005 and 2006, the University of Michigan at Dearborn passed resolutions urging divestment from Lockheed, citing the company’s “support and benefit from the ongoing illegal Israeli occupation.”