“The Belgian-French financial group Dexia gave a mandate to the Rothschild merchant bank to find a buyer for its Israeli subsidiary. The decision follows several takeover proposals for the bank. The French news website Wansquare reported this on Thursday and Dexia confirmed the news.” a Belgian newspaper wrote April 7, 2011.
In a press release Dexia-campaign stated: “The campaign ‘Israel colonizes – Dexia finances’ welcomes the intention of the Dexia Group to sell its branch in Israel.”
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For over two years, Dexia denied its responsibility in giving loans to illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. Since the beginning, it played down its involvement in illegal activities to the extent that Dexia Chairman Jean-Luc Dehaene once stated: “East Jerusalem does not exist”. Today, the campaign is aware of 51 Israeli settlements that received funding through Dexia-Israel, making a total sum of nearly 40 million Euros. Rumours in the past circulated about a sale of Dexia-Israel, but proved to only be rumours. Therefore, we have to stay alert.
We call on all organizations and activists to maintain the pressure on Dexia. We ask everyone to help Dexia make the right decision. Please join us at the General Meeting of Dexia on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 14:30. Register here to join.
Sustained pressure pays off
News of a planned sale of Dexia-Israel is not surprising. Since the first action on 12 November 2008, the 82 member organizations of the Dexia campaign have taken numerous initiatives to step up the pressure on Dexia. They demanded that Dexia ‘cut all ties with the occupation’. Today, Dexia intends to get rid of its Israeli subsidiary all together.
* More than 10,000 protest cards were sent to the Dexia headquarters.
* Activists were regularly present in front of Dexia offices to inform the customers of the bank’s links with the occupied territories.
* Dozens of information evenings were organised, with up to 350 people present at the campaign-launching event.
* Local groups were able to convince 42 municipalities and one province – all Dexia shareholders – to vote a motion supporting the demands of the campaign.
* Activists took part in the General Meeting of Dexia twice (the third participation is planned on May 11, 2011). Jean-Luc Dehaene, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Dexia, admitted the loans went against the ethical code of Dexia and promised to end any further loans. This provoked the anger of the settlers who called for a … boycott of Dexia-Israel.
* Dozens of parliamentarians addressed questions regarding the case to several ministers in the House, Senate and the different regional parliaments. These parliaments along with the municipalities, control 25% of Dexia shares.
* Solidarity groups in France, Luxembourg and Turkey backed the Dexia campaign. Together with Belgium, these countries comprise the principal markets for Dexia,
* The campaign was discussed during the “Russell Tribunal on Palestine” in London. Based on evidence submitted by leading personalities, lawyers and judges, the court indicted Dexia of complicity in violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.
* The campaign was used as a case study at the World Social Forum in Dakar In February 2011, during the launching of the Senegalese BDS campaign. (Boycott-divestment-sanctions campaign against Israel)
Spokesperson ‘Israel colonizes – Dexia finances’
Mario Franssen – 0498/54.16.42 – 02/209.23.50 – firstname.lastname@example.org