Who are they?
Northrop Grumman is a U.S.-based defense technology company that manufactures military aircraft and precision missile systems as well as military drones. In 2012, it was the sixth largest arms manufacturer in the world.
What do they do?
Northrop Grumman provides the Israeli military with the Longbow system for Apache AH64D helicopters. The Longbow, a joint venture with Lockheed Martin, includes Hellfire missiles, as well as fire-control radar systems. The company also provides Israel with radar engineering services and technical support for F-15 and F-16 jets, as well as the LITENING targeting pod–a weapons laser navigation system developed jointly with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. In 2002, the company signed a 23-year, $487 million deal to provide the U.S., Israel, and 15 other countries with F-16 fire-control radar engineering services, replacement parts, and technical support. In 2008, the company initiated a formal partnership with the government-owned Israeli Aerospace Industry (IAI) to outfit Israeli combat aircraft with radar and missile-firing capabilities.
The company has also provided the Israeli navy with three Sa’ar V missile ships, which are used to enforce the siege of Gaza. The siege of the Gaza Strip is considered by the International Committee of the Red Cross to be collective punishment, which is a clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international law.
These armed vessels were also used in the Israeli attack on the unarmed Free Gaza Flotilla in 2010 that resulted in the killing of ten humanitarian activists.
According to UNOCHA, Israel limits Gaza fishermen to an area no wider than three to six miles off the coast, severely limiting their access to fishing. This is in contravention of the Oslo Agreements, which state that Gaza fishermen should have a clearance of 20 nautical miles off the coast. Even when within the three or six mile boundaries, Gaza fishermen risk being attacked by Israeli naval vessels, which have killed and injured fishermen or resulted in damage to/confiscation of their boats.
Northrop Grumman missiles and firing systems are routinely used in Israeli airstrikes on densely populated civilian areas, often in violation of international law:
During the 2006 Lebanon War, the IDF killed over 500 civilians using Northrop Grumman-equipped Apache helicopters.
The United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict ruled that the Israeli attacks in 2008-9 as part of Operation Cast Lead constituted violations of international human rights and humanitarian law and possible war crimes and crimes against humanity. 1394 Palestinian men and women were killed in these attacks, of them 345 were minors. Amnesty International has directly implicated Northrop Grumman in providing ”key equipment used by the [Israeli military] in the [December 2008 – January 2009] Gaza bombing campaign.”
Northrop Grumman-equipped jets, helicopters and gunboats participated in the 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza known as Operation Protective Edge. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 2192 Palestinans were killed during the 50 days of Operation Protective Edge, including whole families. More than 20,000 housing units were destroyed, leaving more than 100,000 people homeless. Defense for Children International documented at least 13 children killed directly by missiles fired from Apache helicopters in its report on Protective Edge.
The company also provides RQ-5 Hunter unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to patrol the Arizona border.
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, Northrop Grumman.”
- 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 Northrop Group. The resolution was later vetoed by the student government president.
- In May 2015 the Olgethorpe University Student Senate passed a resolution to divest from Northrop Grumman “based on evidence of their active role in human rights abuses in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”
- Students at UC Los Angeles passed a resolution to divest from Northrop Grumman in November 2014, stating Northrop Grumman “provide[s] weapons used in attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.”
- Wesleyan University’s student senate in 2014 voted to divest the student endowment from Northrop, stating it is “complicit in the illegal occupation of Palestine.”
- In 2013, Canada’s York University’s Federation of Students, voted to divest the school’s holdings from Northrop, citing the company’s sale of “weapons and military equipment to Israel.”
- A UC San Diego divestment resolution passed in 2013 stating that Northrop-Grumman “produces the Longbow mast-mounted 360° radar for the Apache AH-64 attack helicopter…used in attacks on the Palestinian population.”
- Students at Canada’s York University Graduate Student Association voted in 2012 to divest from Northrop, citing its role in “Israeli human rights violations, war crimes and oppression.”
- Graduate students at Canada’s Carleton University voted in a 2012 referendum to divest the university’s pension from Northrop-Grumman, citing its involvement in “illegal military occupations and other violations of international law.”
- The University of Michigan Dearborn‘s student government passed a divestment resolution in 2010 over the company’s “…[sale of] weapons, goods, and services to Israel.
- In 2005 and 2006, the University of Michigan at Dearborn‘s student government passed resolutions urging divestment from Northrop-Grumman, citing the company’s “support and benefit from the ongoing illegal Israeli occupation.”