Anti-Israel activists have been battling state BDS bans. They claim that BDS bans hurt Americans.
But the ban on this BDS bank helped protect Americans from exposure to Europe’s largest money laundering scheme, as Manfred Gerstenfeld reports.
Denmark’s largest bank, Danske Bank, has admitted that its Estonian banking subsidiary has been involved in what is probably the largest money-laundering scandal in Europe’s history…
Danske Bank’s criminal activity was conducted by its subsidiary in Estonia between 2007 and 2015. The amount of money transferred abroad is a staggering $234 billion. The bank estimates that a significant proportion of these payments was suspect.
In 2014, when Danske Bank had already received warnings about the unethical activities in its Estonian business, it decided to add Bank Hapoalim to a list of companies in which it could not invest due to its corporate accountability rules. The bank claimed that the exclusion was for “legal and ethical reasons.” Danske Bank said that Bank Hapoalim was funding Israeli settlement activities and “acting against the rules of international humanitarian law.” Danske Bank had also withdrawn its investments from the Israeli companies Africa Israel Investments Ltd., Elbit Systems, Aryt, and Danya Cebus.
The boycott of Bank Hapoalim was not without consequences for Danske Bank. Several states in the US, including Colorado and New Jersey, ceased doing business with the bank and/or sold their investments in it. In 2016, Danske Bank reversed its decision concerning Bank Hapoalim.
New Jersey dumped Danske Bank in 2018 over its BDS practices. But that move only came after pressure by pro-Israel activists.
New York did it in 2016. Colorado in 2017.
Failed lefty paper, The Village Voice, bemoaned the move. Now it’s been proven right, not only on ethical and legal grounds, but on financial ones too.