BDS France, SumOfUs
19 December 2018
The week of action from 10 to 15 December was an important stage of this campaign.
BDS France activists had already demonstrated in fifteen cities on 10 February to demand that AXA stop investing in three Israeli banks that contribute to the colonisation of the West Bank and stop investing, through its subsidiary AB (AllianzBernstein) in Elbit Systems, it being one of the Israeli weapons companies most heavily involved in the criminal, illegal attacks on the Palestinian people.
Since then our demonstrations have continued, and we have been joined by the international movement SumOfUs, which launched the petition that obtained 140,000 signatures.
Together we protested on 25 April in Paris during the General Assembly of AXA shareholders.
While investigating AXA’s violation of its own ethics charter, we discovered that its complicity in Israeli apartheid is more extensive than we had stated back in February: it concerns not three but five banks, and AXA is in fact a direct investor in Elbit Systems.
Since February there have also been the Israeli army’s massacres of non-violent demonstrators in Gaza taking part in the marches for the right of return (stipulated in UN Resolution 194), and the Israeli parliament’s adoption of a law, with constitutional status, which legalised the apartheid regime.
It is in this context that we launched the national week of action, an initiative which had a large impact, with over 20 cities and towns* in France taking part.
Dossiers about the complicity in violations of international law and human rights were delivered to numerous AXA agencies and our discussions with many agents showed that they are sensitive to the issue of the AXA group’s investment policies; members of the public who talked to us were equally interested in the issue and signed the postcards/petition addressed to the AXA president; the AXA agents’ trade union was also informed of the situation.
We are still ready and willing to meet the AXA management, which persists in ignoring our letters.
Our demonstrations will continue and intensify until AXA abides by its ethics charter, which is based on the UN Global Compact which stipulates that companies must not be complicit in violations of international law and human rights!