April 25, 2018
Over 104,000 Join SumOfUs Petition to Argue that the French Insurance Giant is Violating International Law by Financing Leading Israel Arms Company & Investing in Three Israeli Banks That Finance Israel’s Settlement Expansion
On Wednesday, April 25th, coinciding with the annual meeting of AXA Insurance shareholders at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, members of SumOfUs, joined by BDS and other BDS signatory associations including UJFP, Solidaires, ATTAC, l’AFPS 14-6 et Paris Sud, will hold a protest outside of the AGM calling for the company to divest from Israeli weapons manufacturers and banks. The groups argue that these Israeli weapons manufacturers and banks are complicit in the subjugation of the Palestinian people.
WHEN: Wednesday, April 25th (contact us for exact time)
WHERE: Le Palais des Congrès. 2 Place de la Porte Maillot, 75017 Paris, France
The groups will also deliver a petition during the AGM from global consumer group SumOfUs with over 104,000 signatures worldwide. The petition demands that AXA Insurance immediately divest from Israeli weapons maker, Elbit Systems, arguing that the leading French insurance company is violating international law by providing financing to the Israeli weapons manufacturer. The campaign comes after the International Federation of Human Rights with six other organizations found that large French financial groups, including AXA, are directly or indirectly involved in the colonial project in Palestine.
SumOfUs and partners argue that by financing Elbit Systems, and by investing in three major Israeli banks that finance Israel’s illegal settlement expansion, AXA is contributing to the suffering of the Palestinian people.
VIEW THE PETITION HERE:
“The job of an insurer is to guard families against risks, to their lives and homes. But AXA is endangering Palestinian families both by supporting the manufacture of weapons used against them, and the infrastructure of occupation,” explained Leyla Larbi, campaigner at SumOfUs. “These shocking revelations are an embarrassment for AXA which is proud of its commitment to responsible investment, and is already breaking ties with manufacturers of certain weapons. Now it's time for AXA to announce that it is divesting from Elbit Systems and ending its financing of banks that fund illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine too.”
Advocates note that Elbit Systems is accused of providing weapons banned by international conventions, including chemical weapons like white phosphorus, which was used during the deadly offensives against civilians in Gaza in 2009 and 2014. Elbit Systems also participated in building the massive “security wall” project in the occupied Palestinian territories, which the International Court of Justice ruled in 2004 is illegal.
“Financial institutions and insurance companies like AXA cannot ignore the illegality of Israeli settlements and the daily suffering they cause. Arbitrary confiscation of property, the separation of families, imprisonment of children, and the humiliating and endless checkpoint controls are the daily dehumanizing experiences of Palestinians living under an apartheid regime -- and it is unacceptable,” added Larbi.
Last week, AXA issued a statement in response to the petition by SumOfUs, saying it “firmly denies these malevolent accusations.” Without giving any further explanation.
For more information, or for interview with a SumOfUs spokesperson, please contact Yasmina Dardari at firstname.lastname@example.org