Deadly Investments is a new report published by War on Want, examining business dealings between some of the UK's best known banks and financial institutions, and 19 companies which supply Israeli with weapons technology used to repress the Palestinian people. UK banks like HSBC and Barclays facilitate and profit from Israel’s militarism, making them complicit in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians, who suffer from systematic discrimination affecting every aspect of life including housing, education, health, employment, family life, residence and freedom of movement.
Israel is one of the world’s most heavily militarised states. In 2016, Israeli military expenditure was $18 billion, the third highest per capita expenditure in the world.
More than 100 companies supplying military and security equipment and services to Israel have offices or factories in the UK. These include G4S, BAE Systems, Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Despite Whitehall’s official controls on arms exports, UK-made arms continue to be sold to the occupying Israeli forces. The UK government approved export licences worth over £100 million for weapons-related exports in 2016. These sales are facilitated by UK banks which have over £10 billion of investments in companies that arm Israel.
The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, endorsed by the UK government, provide a clear set of standards and obligations for businesses in respect of human rights. The report concludes that the financial institutions highlighted have failed in their responsibilities. It calls for a campaign to make HSBC to divest and get the government to impose a two-way arms embargo against Israel.
For more information, see www.waronwant.org/stoparmingisrael