In a move cheered by Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) supporters, the London-based international financial giant HSBC bank reportedly will divest from Israeli defense contractor Elbit.
According to a report by the Jerusalem Post, the world’s seventh largest financial institution will divest from one of Israel’s largest defense companies, saying it “strongly supports observance of international human rights principles,” but said it does “not take positions on political issues.”
While some analysts say HSBC’s qualification is proof that the banking institution is not withdrawing its investment due to BDS pressure, the pro-BDS, British-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign said HSBC “divests from Israeli arms manufacturer following pressure from human rights campaigners,” and claimed “HSBC confirmed to campaigners that it has fully divested from Israeli drone manufacturer Elbit Systems, which sells weapons to the Israeli military used in attacks on Palestinians.”
According to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, over 24,000 petitioners emailed HSBC to urge the company to divest from Elbit Systems.
The organization said it would continue to pressure HSBC to divest from all Israeli defense-related companies.
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.
On December 27, the pro-BDS group Jewish Voice for Peace expressed its happiness over the decision. “Huge congrats to our friends @WarOnWant and @PSCupdates who have succeeded in their campaign to get HSBC bank to divest from war profiteer @ElbitSystemsLtd #BDS