QUESTION: researching real estate companies operating in Israel and in NYC

question / pregunta: 

I work with a group that launched a campaign around the boycott of an
Israeli real estate developer named Lev Leviev several years ago. He both
builds settlements in the Occupied Territories ('67) and is a real estate
developer here in NYC, owning many large pieces of property with his former
business partner, Shaya Boymelgreen. We are currently in a research phase of
our campaign and trying to look into other targets along the same lines:

companies or individuals that develop, buy or sell property or engaged in
construction and contracting in NYC and either in the Occupied Territories
or in Israel proper (developers in Israel proper are highly likely to be
developing in land that was once Palestinian at some point).

WhoProfits, a database maintained by Israel activists on settlement
activity, offers this list of companies that build on Palestinian land:

Other than just going through and starting to google each one of the people
on that list, any other tips or thoughts about how to approach this topic?
Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!


I took a look at a dozen Israeli companies that do business in the West Bank settlements, and between my experience and that of other members of the questioner's group, here is an "answer" to this query.

As the questioner said, the Who Profits? project is the best starting point for researching connections between businesses and the Israeli occupation industry. The data on this site is compiled by The Coalition of Women for Peace, "a leading Israeli feminist peace organization, dedicated to ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights and reaching a just peace in Israel/ Palestine" (from

Who Profits will give you names of CEOs, owners, parent companies, and subsidiaries. You can then search-engine them (as well as the names of the companies, of course) to see what comes up on the open Web. I added the terms "new york" and "brooklyn," plus terms related to the business in question, as needed to help channel the results into something relevant. For example, "'eyal peled' 'new york' engineering" (Eyal Peled is one of the owners of Peled-Klein Civil Engineering).

I also tried a number of subscription databases. Thomson Research and Bureau van Dijk Electronic Publishing's Osiris had profiles on the one publicly traded (on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange) company in the batch I worked on, and that information includes members of the board of directors and some institutional shareholders.

IHS Global Insight and Gale Business & Company Resource Center offered little, though the latter has an entry for the IDB Group (which controls the Irish company that is a partial owner of Nesher Israel Cement Enterprises) that mentions its stated interest, as of 2008, in entering the Las Vegas real estate development market. But even if it were NYC and not Las Vegas, that sounds like a pretty distant path to Nesher. You don't want to attempt to exploit a connection so tenuous that it makes your organization look like it's foolishly grasping at straws.

Finally, I searched some news databases (WilsonWeb Business Full Text and ProQuest ABI/Inform Global) but found nothing at all or at least nothing relevant on the companies.

As a business librarian colleague confirmed, it's really difficult to find information about private companies, particularly if they're overseas (and you're searching only in English-language resources). Unless you happen to stumble on a useful piece of data that's been put in a fixed form, like on a website or in reportage or in a company filing, even wide-ranging searching will not be enough. Here, I think, we come to the line between librarian skills and investigative journalism ("site visits" are among the ways that The Coalition of Women for Peace gets their information for Who Profits, and they don't mean websites).