Former Belgian Prime Minister involved in funding Israeli settlements

dehaene dexia

Belgian bank financing Israeli settlements
David Cronin The Electronic Intifada 13 April 2010

BRUSSELS (IPS) – Dexia, a major Belgian-French bank, is continuing to finance Israeli authorities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) almost a year after it indicated that it would cease providing loans to illegal settlements.

In May 2009, Dexia promised that it would not lend any fresh money to councils representing Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank.

Although Palestinian solidarity activists regarded the announcement as a victory for a campaign they had fought against Dexia, they are not satisfied that all the bank’s transactions with Israeli settlements have been halted.

Intal, a human rights group in Brussels, says it will protest at Dexia’s annual shareholders’ meeting next month, because many of the earlier loans issued to Israeli settlements run until 2017 and are unaffected by last year’s pledge.

“We are calling on Dexia to cut all ties with the occupation [of Palestine],” Intal spokesman Mario Franssen told IPS. “How they do that is up to them. We’re not asking for a boycott of Israel in this case but probably the only solution is for them to get out.”

Dexia’s involvement with Israeli settlements first came to the knowledge of campaign groups in Europe during October 2008, the same month that the governments of Belgium, France and Luxembourg agreed to a multi-billion euro rescue package to prevent the bank from collapsing. In statements to the Israeli parliament — known as the Knesset — Dexia had acknowledged arranging loans to seven settlements and three Israeli-controlled regional bodies in the occupied West Bank between 2003 and 2007.

Intal is also incensed by remarks made by former Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene, now a Dexia chairman, during 2009. While Dehaene confessed that Dexia had provided loans worth 5 million euros ($6.7 million) to settlements in the occupied West Bank, he stressed that loans to Jerusalem were not included in that amount because “Dexia Group feels that Jerusalem is not contested territory.”

https://electronicintifada.net/content/belgian-bank-financing-israeli-settlements/8780

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Boycott Israel: Kuwait to boycott 50 companies

Direct action, Sha'ar Binyamin settlement, West Bank, 24.10.2012

The government of Kuwait has announced that it will not deal with 50 companies due to their role in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory in a move being welcomed by campaigners as a landmark success for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The blacklisted companies include some of the top corporate targets of the BDS movement, such as Volvo, Heidelberg Cement, Dexia, Pizzarotti, Alstom as well as Veolia. Veolia was recently excluded from a $750m contract, and “all future contracts,” by Kuwaiti authorities over its role in the illegal Jerusalem Light Rail project and other projects that serve illegal Israeli settlements.

The blacklisted companies are expected to be excluded from contracts worth billions of dollars, especially if other Arab countries take similar steps.

According to media reports, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Commerce and Industry is also investigating the Kuwaiti operations of G4S, the British security company that secures Israeli military checkpoints and colonies and helps Israel run prisons at which Palestinian political prisoners are tortured, with a view to cancelling its license to operate if it does not terminate its participation in Israeli violations of international law.

Zaid Shuaibi, a spokesperson for the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the largest coalition of Palestinian trade unions, parties, NGOs and popular committees that leads the global BDS movement, said:

“This landmark decision means that international companies will now pay an even heavier price for participating in Israeli violations of international law.

“As European banks and pension funds continue to divest from Israel’s occupation and companies such as Veolia and G4S lose billions of dollars as a result of sustained, effective grassroots campaigning, many firms will now be wondering whether supporting Israel’s regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid is good for business,” said Shuaibi.

Many European governments have taken steps to discourage firms from having economic links to the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, but this is the first time a government has decided to boycott international companies over their role in illegal Israeli settlements.

The Kuwaiti move, which follows lobbying by the Palestinian BDS National Committee and its partners in Kuwait, implements a decision of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), taken at a summit of foreign ministers at the height of the Israeli massacre in Gaza in August, to “impose political and economic sanctions on Israel, and boycott the corporations that operate in the colonial settlements built on occupied Palestinian territory.”

The Arab Summit of 2006 in Khartoum unanimously called for punitive measures against the companies, including Veolia and Alstom, involved in Israel’s colonization of Jerusalem.

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– See more at: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/kuwait-to-boycott-50-companies-12770#sthash.J7Cq1GgR.dpuf or http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/kuwait-to-boycott-50-companies-12770