International consumers group SumOfUs has released a petition demanding AXA Insurance immediately divest from Israeli weapons maker Elbit Systems.
The group suggests that the insurer is violating international law by financing the arms maker. SumOfUs has accused AXA of contributing to the suffering of the Palestinian people by having a financial interest in Elbit Systems and three Israeli banks that “finance Israel’s illegal settlement expansion.”
As of this writing, the online petition has amassed over 88,000 signatures.
SumOfUs’ campaign comes after the International Federation of Human Rights allegedly found that several French financial groups, including AXA, are directly or indirectly linked with Israeli businesses involved in settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory.
A protest action led by SumOfUs and other organisations, including AFPS, CGT, CCFDT, LDH, FIDH, Fair Finance, al Haq, Solidaires, and OXFAM has been planned for April 25, coinciding with the annual meeting of AXA’s shareholders in Paris to call for AXA’s divestment from Elbit Systems and other Israeli businesses involved in the tension in the region.
“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,” said 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.”