Amidst Israel’s #GazaGenocide, AXA divests from all Israeli banks EXCEPT ONE! Escalate #BoycottAXA now!

April 12, 2024

New research by Ekō  shows that AXA has sold all its shares from Israel Discount Bank and Bank Leumi that finance Israel’s illegal settlements, but still owns shares worth $2.6 million in Bank Hapoalim, one of the largest Israeli commercial banks that is blocklisted by the UN for financing Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise.

New research analyzing AXA’s financial holdings in Israeli banks has been conducted by the civil society organization, Ekō. It shows that the insurance giant divested $9.4 million dollars of shares from the Israel Discount Bank and Bank Leumi at the end of 2023. The data on AXA holdings extracted from Bloomberg Terminal shows that as of 15 February the AXA Group still owns shares of $2.6 millions in Bank Hapoalim.

Our response: Escalate our #BoycottAXA campaign to make #AXADivest from ALL Israeli banks fueling Israel genocidal apartheid and settler colonial regime! 

These last months, AXA has been under pressure from human rights and climate justice groups to divest from all banks and corporations that directly finance or are complicit in Israel’s illegal settlements enterprise. Israeli settlement expansion is not only illegal and crushing Palestinian lives, it is also destroying Palestine's environment.

Since the beginning of Israel’s genocide against 2.3 million Palestinians in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip, AXA has been facing an increasing wave of boycott. 

In its communications to the public, AXA has twisted the truth in order to stop this growing number of clients from deserting it. The company says it has no proprietary investments in either bank, but research by the Don’t Buy Into Occupation (DBIO) coalition detailed AXA’s shareholdings in three Israeli banks totalling $19.39 million by August 2023. New research conducted by Ekō confirms the AXA’s remaining shares in Bank Hapoalim. 

Whether AXA invests its own financial resources or that of its clients, it shows that the company is eager to continue its support for Israeli banks that are involved in war crimes against the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory. There is still a clear business relationship between AXA and these banks making it complicit and in violation of its obligations under the UN Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights as well as OECD Guidelines

Social responsibility and human rights aside, there are also now compelling financial and legal reasons to #DivestFromApartheid.

With the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling Israel is plausibly committing genocidal, all states, institutions and corporations are put on urgent notice: they need to consider very carefully their engagement with Israel and its institutions as such ties may now constitute complicity with genocide.

In response to the ICJ ruling, Itochu Aviation, a division of Japan’s Itochu Corporation, has called off its year-old Memorandum of Understanding with apartheid Israel’s largest private arms manufacturer Elbit Systems. AXA should do the same with the Israeli banks and companies involved in Israel’s genocidal regime of apartheid and settler colonialism. 

Such a decision would also be financially wise as Moody’s has downgraded the deposit ratings of all 5 major Israeli banks. 

Just a few days before this, for the first time in its history, Israel’s credit rating was downgraded by Moody’s. Its rating outlook was also changed to “negative,” reflecting its growing debt, budget deficit, and structural economic woes. 

Well before the launch of its #GazaGenocide, Israel had been facing seismic economic challenges, with nosediving international investment in its high-tech industry, which accounted for about half of all Israeli exports.

As Israel carries out a genocide in Gaza, we cannot let complicit companies like AXA off the hook. Let’s continue to escalate our #Boycott AXA campaign until #AXADivest from ALL Israeli banks fueling Israel genocidal apartheid and settler colonial regime! 

April 12, 2024


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