The Boeing Company

Who are they?

The Boeing Company is a multinational arms manufacturer headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. In 2012, it was listed as the second largest arms supplier in the world.

What do they do?

The company has provided Israel with AH-64 Apache helicopters, F-15 Eagle fighter jets, Hellfire missiles (produced with Lockheed Martin), as well as MK84 2000-lb bombs, Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) kits that turn bombs into “smart,” guided bombs, and the Harpoon sea-to-sea missile system.

The Israeli Air Force uses various other Boeing aircraft for transport and refueling, and is anticipating the delivery of Bell Boeing V-22 aircraft.

Boeing has long-term cooperation agreements with the Israeli weapons industry that include the development of the Arrow anti-ballistic missile system (with Israel Aerospace Industries) and the marketing in the US of the Israeli UAV military drones Hermes 450 and 900.

Apache helicopters and Hellfire missile-equiped drones are the primary tools used by Israel for attacks on urban Palestinian areas and “targeted assassinations.”  Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and United Nations commissions have reported the repeated and regular use of weapons in human rights violations and war crimes committed by the Israeli military in Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza.

Boeing also produces the DIME (Dense Inert Metal Explosive) munition, the Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) system. According to Amnesty International, there is evidence that Israel used DIME weapons in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, and there are reports from Gaza in 2014 of the continued use of such weapons.

According to the UN’s Fact-Finding Mission to the Gaza Conflict, 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.

Apache helicopters were also used against Gazans in Operation Protective Edge (2014). Defense for Children International documented at least 13 children killed directly by missiles fired from Apache helicopters in its report on Protective Edge.

During Protective Edge, the Israeli military targeted civilian homes, among other targets, with one-ton bombs equiped with JDAM guiding systems, according to Amnesty International. Following Protective Edge, Boeing was awarded an $82 million to further supply Israel with JDAM kits in November 2014. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (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.

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 missiles fitted with JDAM systems and/or fired from Apache helicopters, 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 JDAM systems were used in the killing of at least 166 people, including 89 children.

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, Boeing.”
  • 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 Boeing.
  • 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 Boeing. The resolution was later vetoed by the student government president.
  • Northwestern University students voted to divest from Boeing in February 2015, citing its provision of fighter jets 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 Boeing.
  • Students at UC Los Angeles passed a resolution to divest from Boeing in November 2014, stating Boeing “ha[s] provided weapons used in attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure.”
  • A 2014 referendum passed by students at DePaul University decreed that Boeing “profit[s] from Israel’s violation of the human rights of Palestinians and minorities within Israel.”
  • Students at UC San Diego passed a divestment resolution in March 2013, citing Boeing’s involvement in “Israel’s military occupation and violence against Palestinians in violation of international law and human rights.”
  • In November 2012, the Brown University Advisory Committee on Corporate Responsibility in Investment Policies recommended that Brown divest from Boeing and other companies which are “profiting from the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories.”
  • Undergraduate students at Arizona State University, in June 2012, voted to divest from and blacklist Boeing due to its “complicit[y] in human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian Territories.”
  • The University of Massachusetts at Boston’s student government passed a divestment resolution in 2012 stating that Boeing “manufactured and sold weapons…been used in direct attacks on Palestinian civilians.”
  • The student government at the University of Michigan at Dearborn passed a divestment resolution in 2010 due to Boeing’s “[sale of] weapons, goods, and services to Israel.”
  • In 2005 and 2006, the University of Michigan at Dearborn passed resolutions urging divestment from Boeing, citing the company’s “support and benefit from the ongoing illegal Israeli occupation.”