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BDS victory: HSBC divests from Elbit Systems

Activism

On the 10th anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s murderous assault on Gaza which killed over 1000 Palestinians in 3 weeks, the movement to ‘Stop Arming Israel’ is stronger than ever before.

We have great news to share with you as we end 2018: HSBC have announced they have divested in full from Elbit Systems, which is Israel’s largest private arms security firm, who market their weapons as “battle-tested” due to them being tested on Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

This victory comes after a campaign calling on HSBC to end its financial support for Israel’s military, led by PSC, War On Want and Campaign Against the Arms Trade with huge support from the British public. The campaign saw more than 20,000 individuals writing to HSBC, monthly protests outside 40 local HSBC branches across the UK, social media actions and student campaigns aimed at UK universities. At HSBC’s AGM in April, no issue received more questions than HSBC’s complicity in supporting the arms trade with Israel.

PSC thanks all of our branches, activists and members who made this victory possible with relentless determination to campaign for freedom, justice and equality for the Palestinian people.

HSBC’s investments in Elbit Systems was a primary target, making this victory a significant milestone in the campaign. However, HSBC still invest over £800 million in, and provide syndicated loans worth up to £19 billion for, companies arming Israel. This includes shares worth approximately £100 million in Caterpillar, a company which supplies the Israeli army with weaponised bulldozers to demolish Palestinian communities, construct Israel’s illegal settlements and apartheid wall. We will continue to campaign and amplify the call for HSBC to end all of it’s complicity with Israel’s arms trade.

This is a great step forward for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and a huge boost for us all as we head into 2018. Thank you for supporting PSC and we look forward to campaigning with you all for freedom, justice and equality for the Palestinian people in the new year.

Palestine Solidarity Campaign UK
About Palestine Solidarity Campaign UK

PSC is an independent, non-governmental and non-party political organisation with members from many communities across Britain.

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3 Responses

  1. Marnie
    Marnie
    January 3, 2019, 2:02 am

    Bravo to any and all BDS victories – may 2019 be full of them!

  2. bcg
    bcg
    January 3, 2019, 10:56 pm

    Alas, there have been several stories recently that cast doubt on this – I’m not sure what’s happening. Anyone have real information?

    “Despite all the media hype this past week triggered by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign announcement claiming “Banking giant HSBC divests from Israeli arms manufacturer following pressure from human rights campaigners,” the truth seems to be far more complex.”

    http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/boycott/not-so-fast-hsbc-bank-may-not-be-boycotting-israel-after-all/2018/12/30/

    “Elbit Vice President David Vaaknin told the Jerusalem Post that his company had received no official confirmation from HSBC regarding the divestment, and the decision had not been posted to the HSBC website.”

    https://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/jns/hsbc-bank-to-divest-from-israel-s-elbit-systems/article_3dcf2535-1453-53c5-b3c0-8169f274bf43.html

    ” HSBC tells ‘Post’: ‘We divested from Elbit over cluster bombs, not BDS’
    “HSBC has a banking operation in Tel Aviv and provides banking services to numerous Israeli companies. We have every intention of continuing to do so,” HSBC said. ”

    https://www.jpost.com/BDS-THREAT/HSBC-tells-Post-We-divested-from-Elbit-over-clusters-bombs-not-BDS-576175

    • annie
      annie
      January 3, 2019, 11:25 pm

      HSBC tells ‘Post’: ‘We divested from Elbit over cluster bombs, not BDS’

      and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign announcement claiming “Banking giant HSBC divests from Israeli arms manufacturer following pressure from human rights campaigners

      it sounds like the bank is not investing in Elbit anymore because they don’t want to be held libel for war crimes and human rights violations resulting from the use of cluster ammunitions. it’s just a good business decision.

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