A Dutch financial body has announced it will no longer work with Israeli banks, citing the Jewish state’s presence in the West Bank as reason.
The Dutch pension administrator PGGM will divest from five Israeli banks—Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, First International Bank of Israel, Israel Discount Banks and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank.
The decision was announced yesterday in a statement on PGGM’s website, in which the firm referred to its “responsible investment policy.”
“Involvement in financing Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories…This was a concern, as the settlements in the Palestinian territories are considered illegal under international humanitarian law,” the statement read.
The group added that it is prohibited from working with bodies involved in “violations of fundamental human rights and labor rights.”
“[PGGM is] discombobulated by the rising anti-Israel discourse in Holland, and resorted to an excess of self-righteousness,” said Israeli foreign affairs spokesman Yigal Palmor, calling the move a “double standard.”
“This sanctimonious moralism comes across as all the more awkward as it is now clear that PGGM applies a different standard in other areas of the world.”
PGGM currently has investments in two Chinese banks that operate out of Tibet, which is internationally recognized as occupied land.
The firm also has investments in Malaysian palm oil producer Sime Darby, which paid $1 million last year in reparations to villagers in Liberia after accusations that the company had violated human rights and confiscated property.