Is Germany’s largest bank joining the other financial institutions that boycott Israeli firms for their involvement in the West Bank’s settlements? The Israeli site Walla News reported on Monday that financial giant Deutsche Bank has been offering its clients a new investment channel that excludes Israel’s Bank Hapoalim, among other companies, on grounds of immorality.
According to the report on Walla! Deutsche Bank’s investment channel is called “Ethical ETF” – An exchange-traded fund that seeks to draw “moral” investors who do not want to invest their money in ethically compromised firms.
Reportedly the German bank has a list of 16 companies considered to be unethical. Some of the companies manufacture mines, some of them assist in the development of nuclear weapon and so on. Among the 16, Bank Hapoalim is the only Israeli firm.
Deutsche Bank’s official response to the report was that the list of the banned companies does not in any way represent the bank’s policies nor was the list comprised by it, but by an independent Danish research institute.
The German bank also told Walla! Bank Hapoalim is included in other investment channels the bank offers.
Right-wing Member of Knesset Ofir Akunis (Likud) said that Deutche Bank should reconsider its own unethical decision. “It is inconceivable that a German bank boycotts Jews as though history never happened,” he added.
Meretz’ leader Left-wing Zahava Gal-On said that Israel’s presence in the West Bank will only cause the boycott to expand further and further. “prime minister” Netanyahu should come to his senses and stop sending Israel down the trail of isolation and ostracism like Cuba and South Africa.”
Last month, Danske Bank, Denmark’s largest bank, announced it would begin boycotting Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest bank, and news soon followed that a key Swedish Bank may follow suit.
Also in January, The Netherlands’ largest pension fund management company PGGM decided to withdraw its investments from Israel’s five largest banks amid their activities in the West Bank, daily Haaretz reported on Wednesday.
PGGM informed Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot, the First International Bank of Israel and Israel Discount Bank that their activities in the settlements and involvement with companies, which are building in the settlements, is problematic under the international law.
Also in the Netherlands, Vitens, the national water carrier, cut ties with its Israeli counterpart, Mekorot because of the latter’s operations in what it views as occupied territory.
Norway’s finance ministry reissued a 2010 ban instructing its oil fund, worth $810 billion, to divest from two Israeli firms, as well as one Indian firm, citing ethical reasons. Source: 124News