4 Jul, 2024

CDPQ must end its complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people

Coalition du Québec URGENCE Palestine

Letter from the Coalition du Québec URGENCE Palestine in support of the Al-Soumoud camp

On Saturday, June 22, after many student encampments had sprung up on university campuses in Quebec and across North America, the Désinvestir pour la Palestine collectiveset up the Al-Soumoud encampment in Montreal’s Square Victoria, across from the offices of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ). In particular, they are protesting the CDPQ’s investments totalling $14.2 billion in 87 companies which have some business activities that make them legally complicit in Israeli rights violations and crimes against the Palestinian people.

The investments 

A study by Just Peace Advocates, based on the CDPQ’s year-end report dated December 31, 2023, describes the investments in question.

The CDPQ had investments totaling $1.5 billion in seven companies listed in the United Nations database of business enterprises involved in certain activities related to Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).

In addition, the CDPQ had over $12 billion invested in 72 other companies found by the American Friends Service Committee’s Investigate project to be involved in specific human rights violations under the Israeli occupation.

Finally, CDPQ also manages investments totalling $731 million in eight other companies involved in arming the Israeli military, according to World Beyond War.

CDPQ’s complicity in Israel’s crimes

Israeli settlements in the OPT were declared contrary to international law by the International Court of Justice in 2004. UN Security Council Resolution 2334 of 2016 reaffirmed that Israel’s establishment of these settlements constitutes a flagrant violation of international law. In 2024, the United Nations 

High Commissioner for Human Rights declared that the settlements constitute a war crimethat may engage the individual criminal responsibility of those involved.

Over the past year, Charles Emond, CEO of the Caisse, has been questioned several times about these investments. For example, Québec Solidaire MNA Haroun Bouazzi raised the issue at the public finance committee of the Quebec National Assembly on May 2, 2023 and April 24, 2024.

Le Devoir published two letters from Paul Fauteux, a Montreal lawyer specializing in international law, co-signed by six internationally respected experts in the field, on November 22, 2023 and May 21, 2024. These experts agreed that “investing in companies operating in Israeli settlements makes the Caisse complicit in violations of international law and war crimes.”

The CDPQ’s investments in companies involved in arming the Israeli military could also make it complicit in the countless crimes committed by Israel in its all-out assault on Gaza, now in its ninth month.

In presenting its report to the United Nations Human Rights Council on June 18-19, the independent international Commission of Inquiry indicated that “Israeli authorities were responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including extermination, intentionally directing attacks against civilians, murder or wilful killing, using starvation as a method of war, forcible transfer, gender persecution, sexual and gender-based violence amounting to torture, and cruel or inhuman treatment.”

The International Court of Justice has yet to rule on the merits of South Africa’s case against Israel but Francesca Albanese, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the OPT, concluded in her latest report, Anatomy of a Genocide, that “there are reasonable grounds to believe that the threshold indicating Israel’s commission of genocide is met.”

We demand an end to the complicity

The CDPQ is a government agency responsible for managing the collective savings of Quebecers. It is unacceptable that the Caisse should deviate from this mission by investing in companies complicit in Israeli war crimes and genocide, and that it should continue to claim, under the current horrific circumstances, that it meets the highest ethical investing standards. This disgraceful complicity must end.

We, the undersigned organizations, support the demands of the Al-Soumoud encampment and call on the CDPQ to:

  • Immediately liquidate its $14 billion investment in 87 companies identified as complicit in Israeli genocide, occupation, settlements and violations of the rights of the Palestinian people;
  • Establish a transparent monitoring process to ensure that no company in which it invests in the future is involved in violations of human rights and international law.

Current signatories: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WviMRS6Sq00S7QNm2rZIikGo_uYoVnyN/view?usp=drive_link

For organizations wishing to sign on to the letter, please send an email to :


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