AXA, SPEAK-UP against apartheid!
AXA is holding its General Assembly on the 27th of April, in Paris. For the occasion, the “Stop AXA Assistance for Israeli Apartheid” coalition and its allies will call out AXA regarding its complicity in enabling Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise, a war crime, and the reputational and legal risks that AXA faces as a result.
Since the beginning of the war in early 2022, AXA has condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine and its devastating human consequences. Yet, where is AXA’s responsibility towards Palestinians living under Israeli apartheid and occupation, for over 74 years? AXA continues to invest in Israeli banks that are on the UN list of corporations involved in Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Israel’s apartheid forces have murdered over 90 Palestinians so far this year. And we are only in April. Land theft, annexation, ethnic cleansing, home demolitions and settlement expansion are increasing at an alarming rate.
Israeli colonialism and apartheid are aided by settler organisations further emboldened by Israel’s new government, its most far-right, racist, fundamentalist, homophobic and misogynistic ever.
Israel is only able to maintain its oppressive regime over the Indigenous Palestinian people because of international complicity of states, corporations and institutions.
AXA is one of these complicit international companies.
From Thursday April 20th until the AGM on April 27th, people across the world are mobilising for the #BoycottAXA Global Week of Action.
On its website, AXA claims to respect human rights but continues to finance Israeli banks that make AXA responsible - and possibly legally liable - for aiding/abetting or profiting from war crimes and the crime against humanity of apartheid.
AXA Group encourages people to report any suspicion of inappropriate, unethical or illegal behaviour on their whistleblowing hotline: speak-up@AXA.com.
Use the sample script below to tell AXA Group that supporting Israeli apartheid is not making us trusting AXA!
Email AXA at speak-up@AXA.com in using the sample script below.
Join our Twitterstorm exposing AXA's hypocritical policies on ethical investments and human rights on April 24 at 5PM CET/6PM Palestine time Full details and Twitterstorm material here.
Let us know if you receive a response from AXA hotline in forwarding the email to Fiona Ben Chekroun, BNC Europe coordinator - email@example.com.
To whom it may concern,
I am contacting you because I believe some AXA Group’s investments are not respecting the spirit of AXA’s compliance and ethics code.
I’ve recently learned that AXA continues to finance and profit from Israel’s colonial settlements and apartheid by investing in Israeli banks that are the backbone of Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise. These banks are listed in the UN database of business enterprises involved in Israel’s illegal settlements–a war crime.
AXA has quickly condemned and acted against the invasion of Ukraine and its devastating human consequences. Where is AXA’s responsibility towards Palestinians living under Israeli apartheid and occupation for decades?
AXA claims to respect human rights and to have “established safeguards to identify and prevent serious violations of human rights and environmental abuses” in line with its duty of due diligence and vigilance under international standards and French law. Specifically in the field of investment, AXA claims its commitment to “seeking to prevent or mitigate adverse Human Rights impacts that arise from its investment activities”.
Based on the above, AXA implemented a Responsible Investment (RI) policy in 2020, which provides, among others, guidelines and business restrictions for certain sectors, activities and products that “could be inconsistent with AXA’s corporate responsibility goals of protecting people over the long term and may be detrimental to AXA’s brand and reputation.” AXA’s RI policy, however, fails to explicitly identify areas of armed conflict, war crimes and serious human rights abuses, such as Israel’s illegal settlements and apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territory, as contexts where investment restrictions and exclusions apply.
Israel’s apartheid forces have murdered over 90 Palestinians so far this year. And we’re only in April. Land theft, annexation, ethnic cleansing, home demolitions and settlement expansion are increasing at an alarming rate. Israeli colonialism and apartheid are aided by settler organisations further emboldened by Israel’s new government, its most far-right, racist, fundamentalist, homophobic and misogynistic ever.
For me, as a person who cares about human rights, AXA Group should, as it did for the invasion of Ukraine, speak up against these crimes and its devastating human consequences and divest from companies that are complicit in them. This is not just a question of legal responsibility. It is for AXA Group to comply with its own values and ethical principles. There is no “building trust” nor “empowering people to live a better life” at the expense of the Palestinian people's struggle for freedom, justice and equality.
AXA Group claims to regularly conduct a Human Rights risk assessment which aims to identify the most relevant risks to Human Rights that the AXA Group should consider conducting its business (acting both as an insurer and as an investor) and its operations.
The most recent study was carried out in 2020, the next one should then happen in 2023.
My question is the following: when will AXA implement this external Human Rights risk assessment and if it will be conducted by an independent organisation?
I truly hope to receive an answer from AXA and the reassurance that AXA Group is caring about building trust with its actual and future clients. From my side, as long as AXA continues making profit from Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people, I shall continue to boycott AXA. I am also spreading the word about this boycott in my local community. This is a moral stand that I’m proud to take.