Banks are the heart of every economy. They pump financial means through the system like the heart pumps blood through the body. This makes them a crucial and indispensable link for every economic activity.
Israeli banks finance the occupation and colonisation of Palestine and the Syrian Golan, which makes them the main lifeline ensuring the continuation and growth of Israeli settlements in occupied territory.
They do this by:
- providing mortgages to colonists;
- providing loans for construction projects in settlements;
- providing financial services to Israeli authorities which administer the colonies;
- having branches in settlements;
- providing financial services to businesses in settlements;
- benefiting from access to the Palestinian monetary market as a captured market.
Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and are an obstacle for a just peace. Israeli banks play a key role in the maintenance and growth of these settlements. Investors worldwide allow these banks to continue to play this role.
Investments in Israeli banks are increasingly seen as an investment risk. In addition, more investors realise that these investments are contrary to their responsible investment policy and draw conclusions. Early 2014, pension fund PFZW divests from five Israeli banks. Also Danske Bank and the Luxembourg state pension fund FDC withdraw their investments in Israeli banks in 2014.