World Bulletin / News Desk
Luxembourg's general pension fund (FDC) is boycotting five Israeli banks associated with illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
According to the Israeli website Walla, the state-affiliated pension fund of one of Europe's richest countries will boycott the major Israeli banks as well as about 60 companies around the world, including eight Israeli institutions, for being 'unethical.'
Israel Discount Bank, Bank Hapoalim, Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot, Bank Leumi and First International Bank of Israel are among the banks boycotted. Elbit Systems Ltd and Africa Israel Investments Ltd, both based in Jerusalem, are also on the exclusion list.
More European firms looke likely to join the trend after it was reported that Dutch pension fund ABP plans cut off ties to Israeli banks. Sweden's Nordea Investment Management and DNB Asset Management are also reconsidering their relationship with the Zionist state along with Norwegian pension fund KLP, according to the Financial Times.
In 2009, the UK gradually started labeling or completely boycotting settler products. Marks & Spencer, Morrisons and Waitrose are among many British firms to stop selling settler goods in recent years. Germany’s Kaiser Supermarket has also made a moral decision against selling settler products. Additionally, British charity Oxfam made its stance very clear after parting ways with representative Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson for her support of Israeli firm SodaStream, which operates in illegal West Bank settlements.
The boycotts look likely to threaten the livelihood of Jewish settlers in the West Bank and isolate Israel economically. Last year, boycotts on products like dates and grapes grown in the occupied Jordan Valley caused a $29 million loss for illegal Jewish settlers in the region. As reported in the Washington Post, income from exports dropped 14%, mainly due to big supermarket chains in Europe deciding to boycott the products.
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Israel's West Bank settlements are illegal under international law and are bitterly opposed by Palestinians.