Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest bank, shows signs of mild embarrassment in the wake of reports that it had consigned Israel’s largest bank, Bank Hapoalim, to a list of firms deemed too “ethically questionable” for investment by the ostensibly more ethically-minded investors.
Bank Hapoalim indeed featured on the list but Deutsche Bank later averred that this was merely a recommendation by an outside consultant from Denmark.
It needs be stressed that the actual damage to Bank Hapoalim is likely to be minimal at most. If anything, the impact on Deutsche Bank’s image would be more acute. It goes beyond the mere specter of a German financial giant boycotting a Jewish concern. Deutsche bank has a particularly dark past, even as far as veteran German corporations go.
It was the bank which underwrote the construction and operation of Auschwitz, a fact it kept under wraps until 1999. Much as today’s bank executives may righteously dissociate themselves from their institution’s past, the symbolism cannot be dodged. Already back in 1933 Deutsche Bank dismissed its Jewish employees and was then very active in what was euphemistically dubbed ”the Aryanization of Jewish businesses.” It was the Gestapo’s chief financier.
That may in part explain the alacrity to promote such initiatives as the “moral investment plan” which effectively blacklists Hapoalim. The morally superior facade may in itself provide a form of psychosocial uplift.
Be that as it may, there is effrontery in very notion of a bank with the most sinister of histories presuming to pass judgment on a Jewish bank for no other reason than its branches also operate beyond the non-border that is the 1949 armistice line (a.k.a. the Green Line). That suffices to lump Bank Hapoalim with some of the most unsavory arms dealers, etc.
Worse yet, Deutsche Bank isn’t alone, although there’s particular odium in this specific organization’s alacrity to conform to the edicts of Europe’s de rigueur political correctness.
Denmark’s largest bank, Danske Bank, also placed Hapoalim on its blacklist, though Danske has never invested in Hapoalim. The Swedish-based Nordea Bank has approached Bank Leumi and Bank Mizrahi with inquiries about their across-the-Green-Line presence. Norwegian pension funds have likewise announced they won’t invest in given Israeli companies.
More than any of this impacts on the financial wellbeing of Israeli banking, however, it unmasks what lies beneath European sanctimony. The very fact that a situation, which has existed for nearly half-a-century, has so suddenly and contagiously begun to seemingly outrage so many in Europe, in itself raises moral questions – more about the organizers of the apparently obligatory outrage than about the actual Mideast situation.
Israel by no yardstick is an imperialist ogre but a tiny and vulnerable country which was forced to defend itself. At most the territories Israel controls are disputed and not occupied in the traditional sense. But the very companies, which attempt to boycott Israel, close their eyes to the true occupiers – all the way from Turkey and Morocco to China.
The double standards and demonization unleashed against Israel surely attest to something that runs deeper than the smug holier-than-thou criteria for doing business with the Jewish state.
The incontrovertible fact is that Israel has been singled out for abuse and slander. This allows it to be vituperated like no other state and there’s never any scrutiny before ultra-liberal Israel is castigated as a fascist and racist promoter of all sins – from apartheid to all-inclusive “crimes against humanity.” Any sort of mud may be slung at Israel collectively just as it once was slung in Europe against hapless Jews individually.
It’s difficult to escape the conclusion that, to say the least, Israel is being delegitimized by latter-day Judeophobes who cynically deny their Judeophobia.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu noted that “in the past anti-Semites boycotted Jewish businesses and today they call for the boycott of the Jewish state, and by the way, only the Jewish state. It is important that the boycotters be exposed for what they are – they are classical anti-Semites in modern garb.” To borrow his phrase, it’s indeed time to “delegitimize the delegitimizers.”
Thank you Sara Honig!
“delegitimize the delegitimizers.”… IT MUST BE DONE!
Bet they’re rushing to invest in Iran! Nauseating.
Dear Ethan, well said, you highlight something that is really being swept under the capital carpet, EU folk are chomping at the bit to get their hands on the Mullah’s money in Iran, its actually disgusting. they will reap what they sow in the end, but we will all suffer most likely…
The Deutsche Bank STINKS…like the rest of Germany.
Germany LOVES, to do business with Iran and to support it’s nuclear Holocaust program…Adolf Hitler would be proud of his breed.
Let’s name names and not let them hide behind the corporate shield. If there was a decision to list Bank Hapoalimas as too “ethically questionable” for investment it was the executive board, Co chairs Jürgen Fitscher and Anshu Jain – Chief Financial Officer, Stefan Krause – Chief Executive Office, Stephan Leithner – Chief Risk Officer, Stuart Lewis – Head of Private & Business Clients, Rainer Neske and Chief Operating Officer, Henry Ritchotte, who took the action. Of course being the corporate fops they are one would expect them to backpedal. Let’s face it. The “Palestinian” issue serves as an excuse to let loose the dogs of Judenhass. That is why so many find it so easy to accept. It allows them to rationalize their existing antipathy that has existed since the days of the Romans.
The Judenhass dates back to the Romans…to the birth of the mother of all antisemitic conspiracies, the texts of the “New Testament”.
The German cynics of big money are still under it’s spell.
Yet with such intractable enemies the stupid Jews remain divided among themselves a if they really have the luxury to remain so. Such stupid unlearned people in spite of their accomplishments, what’s truly important they simply can’t understand. We are cults and atheists with no shared heritage and kinship, hard to fathom
Of course there is still traditional Jew-hatred, and this is amplified by the oil which Islamist regimes have nationalized and now control. Now Europe is dancing to the tune of Putin or the Mullahs or the sheiks, but those regimes are unstable and illiberal. They will come to regret whose bed they made and now lie in.
After Israel develops it’s new oil fields, the relationship with Europe will dramatically change.
Permit me to suggest that Israel take names and turn the tables. Do not supply oil to those firms who employ the individuals responsible for the anti-Israel boycott.
That is the least. Further actions should be considered. Find out damaging information about Deutsche Bank and other offending corporations. Then short their stock right before publicizing the negative information. That kind of thing could be done right now, using traditional and high tech methods.
First the western European countries denied entry visas to the Jewish refugees fleeing
from the Nazis. That was not lost on Adolf Hitler, who boasted that nobody wanted his Jews.
When the Nazis then occupied the west, the defeated collaborated with the Nazi occupiers,
rounding up and providing transportation for the deportation of the Jews to the death camps.
The Righteous Gentiles who helped the Jews were a tiny minority:
count the trees planted to honor them in Israel!
What better way to wash their hands of their wartime collaboration with the Nazis
than to point the finger at Israel for its alleged oppression of the Palestinians.