HSBC divests from Israeli defence firm
THE BRITISH banking giant HSBC has divested from Elbit Systems, one of Israel’s largest defence companies.
The bank reportedly said it “strongly supports observance of international human rights principles as they apply to business” when discussing the move.
The divestment came following a long-running campaign by pro-Palestinian activists to highlight the bank’s financial involvement with Elbit.
However, HSBC appeared to deny it had acted in response to pressure from the boycott movement, saying it did “not take positions on political issues”.
In a statement posted on its website, the pro-BDS Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) claimed “banking giant HSBC divests from Israeli arms manufacturer following pressure from human rights campaigners”.
Arsen Ostrovsky, an Israeli-based International Human Rights lawyer, wrote on Twitter: “Hi HSBC… I was just wondering is it only Elbit you are divesting from, or any other defence contractors around the world?”
PSC claimed more than 24,000 people had written to HSBC with “concern over its investments in Elbit Systems”.
The move came a month after holiday rental website Airbnb decided to stop listing properties in West Bank settlements.