Barclays face mass boycott; people close accounts over Israel ties

  • Post last modified:February 9, 2024
  • Reading time:4 mins read

More than 1500 people collectively closed their Barclays accounts on Friday 9 February, vowing not to bank with it until it ends its complicity with Israeli genocide and apartheid in Gaza and the Occupied Territories. Thousands more also pledge never to bank with Barclays, in echoes of the South African anti-apartheid struggle.

Barclays: end the complicity with Israel

UK banking giant Barclays is once again the target of mass boycott campaign, organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC). More than 1500 people have closed their accounts in protest at its bankrolling of Israel’s genocidal attack on Palestinians.

Thousands more have signed a pledge never to bank with Barclays while it remains complicit with Israel’s apartheid system. The bank faced a similar boycott campaign over its financial support for South African apartheid before eventually being forced to divest in 1986. You can join the boycott here.

Barclays Bank holds over £1bn in shares and provides over £3bn in loans and underwriting to nine companies whose weapons, components, and military technology are being used by Israel in its genocidal attacks on Palestinians.

This includes General Dynamics, which produces the gun systems that arm the fighter jets used by Israel to bombard Gaza, and Elbit Systems, which produces armoured drones, munitions, and artillery weapons used by the Israeli military.

By providing investment and financial services to these arms companies, Barclays is facilitating the provision of weapons and technology for Israel’s attacks on Palestinians.

Banking is actively killing Palestinian people

9 February’s mass account closures are part of an on-going campaign aimed at highlighting Barclays toxic banking policies that make it complicit with Israel’s war crimes.

Barclays will be the target of social media campaigns, pickets, and sit ins until it is forced to prioritise humanity over profit. PSC started by targeting a Barclay’s branch in Whitechapel, London:

Saturday 10 February sees an eighth national day of action for Palestine, with events from Abergavenny to Wolverhampton – several of them being held at Barclays’ branches.

Ben Jamal, PSC director, said :

Nobody with a conscience would bank with Barclays in the 1970s and 80s when we fought to stop it supporting the brutal, racist system of South African apartheid. Nobody with a conscience could now bank with Barclays knowing it helps facilitate Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza.

That’s why more than 1500 people are closing their Barclays accounts en masse today, in a clear message that there can be no business as usual during a genocide.

More than 27 000 Palestinian men, women and children have been killed by Israel in what the International Court of Justice has accepted is a plausible case of genocide. And to its eternal shame, Barclays is complicit. We forced Barclays to stop supporting apartheid before, and we’ll force it to stop supporting genocide and apartheid now.

Featured image via PSC

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