The London-based bank HSBC clarified that its decision to divest from Israel’s Elbit Systems is a statement against the production of cluster bombs and has nothing to do with the boycott movement against Israel.
“HSBC’s decision to divest from Elbit Systems was not the result of campaigning by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, and it is not indicative of support for the movement’s objectives,” Stuart Levey, HSBC’s chief legal officer and group managing director, said in a letter to The Jerusalem Post, the newspaper reported. “HSBC’s decision was based on our long-standing defense policy whereby we do not invest in companies linked to the production or marketing of cluster munitions.”
Elbit rejected the explanation, saying it does not produce cluster bombs. In November, Elbit acquired an Israeli company that has a history of producing cluster bombs. But Elbit’s vice president David Vaknin told The Jerusalem Post that the company “will not be continuing its prior activities with respect to cluster munitions.”
Vaknin told the newspaper that the bank had not contacted his company before it decided to divest, nor had it been in touch with the company since it divested.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign claimed following the announcement that the bank had succumbed to pressure from the BDS movement against Israel.
The decision came a month after the global vacation rental website Airbnb decided to delist sites in West Bank settlements.
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.
We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.
Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”