Who are they?
Raytheon is the world’s fourth-largest defense company and the largest producer of guided missiles.
What do they do?
Over the last decade, it has participated in contracts worth over $4 billion to supply Israel with weapons. It has provided Israel with various missile systems and munitions, including GBU-28 “Bunker Buster” bombs, Bunker Defeat munitions, the Phalanx navy gun, and the AGM Maverick air-to-surface missile. It has also provided the Israeli Air Force with electronic systems and radars for its F-15 and F-16 aircrafts and air-to-air missiles such as the Sidewinder and the AMRAAM.
Raytheon also provides Israel with anti-missile defense systems such as the Patriot system and the Stunner Terminal Missile Defense Interceptor (developed in collaboration with the Israeli Rafael Advanced Defense Systems).
One of the company’s main facilities is in Israel, where it collaborates with Israeli weapons manufacturers to develop and market new weapons systems.
Raytheon’s “bunker buster” bombs and its munitions equipped for dispensing cluster bombs were used by the Israeli military in South Lebanon and in Gaza. According to Human Rights Watch, since the 2006 Lebanon war, over 200 Lebanese civilians have been killed or maimed by bomblets from Israeli cluster bombs dropped at the end of the conflict. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OCHA) condemned the Israeli military’s use of bunker busters in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead as “legally dubious”.
Missiles and bombs fired from F-16 jets have been implicated by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the United Nations as human rights violations and/or war crimes committed by the Israeli military in Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza, in which hundreds of civilians were killed and hundreds of millions of dollars of civilian infrastructure destroyed. 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 minors.
Amnesty International identified the use of Raytheon-supplied “bunker buster” bombs in the targeting of civilian homes, among other targets, during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. According to OCHA, 2192 Palestinians were killed during the 50 days of Protective Edge, including numerous whole families. More than 20,000 housing units were destroyed, leaving more than 100,000 people homeless.
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, Raytheon.”
- On March 1, 2016, the University College London Union voted to support the BDS campaign, stating that the student union will “not have any commercial or investment relationship with companies that participate in Israeli violations of international law, including G4S, Veolia, HP and military companies that supply Israel such as BAE Systems and Raytheon.”
- In May 2015 the Olgethorpe University Student Senate passed a resolution to divest from Raytheon “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 Raytheon, among other “companies implicated in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, many of which facilitate parallel injury against communities of color here in the United States.”
- 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 Raytheon.
- In January 2015 the UC Davis student senate passed a divestment resolution urging the university to drop investments in Raytheon because it “supplies the Israeli Air Force with guided air-to-service missiles . . . used in attacks against civilian populations in Palestine.” The bill was later repealed based on constitutional technicality.
- Students at UC Los Angeles passed a resolution to divest from Raytheon in November 2014, stating Raytheon “provide[s] weapons used in attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.”
- UC Riverside’s student government passed a resolution in the spring of 2014, stating that Raytheon makes “guided missiles [that] were used to ruthlessly level civilian dense regions during Operation Cast Lead”
- Loyola University in Chicago passed a 2014 divestment resolution that stated Raytheon “play[s] active roles in the human rights abuses committed by the Israeli Government.”
- In November of 2012, the Associated Students at UC Irvine voted unanimously to divest from Raytheon over its missiles that “leveled civilian dense regions during Operation Cast Lead.”
- The University of Michigan at Dearborn’s student council passed a divestment resolution in 2010, citing Raytheon’s “[sale of] weapons, goods, and services to Israel.
- In 2005 and 2006, the student council at University of Michigan at Dearborn also passed resolutions urging divestment from Raytheon, citing the company’s “support and benefit from the ongoing illegal Israeli occupation.”