Blackrock Wall Street Banks Profit from Israel’s Crimes in Gaza

Ben Norton, Geopolitical Economy, July 8, 2024 — 

Top UN human rights experts have called on Western weapons corporations to stop sending arms to Israel, arguing they could be complicit in war crimes.

UN experts also warned that asset managers like BlackRock and Wall Street banks may be profiting from Israel’s brutal war on Gaza.

This was stated in a press release published by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

“The transfer of weapons and ammunition to Israel may constitute serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian laws and risk State complicity in international crimes, possibly including genocide, UN experts said today, reiterating their demand to stop transfers immediately”, the press release said.

As arms manufacturers that could be complicit, the UN human rights experts mentioned:

  • BAE Systems,
  • Boeing,
  • Caterpillar,
  • General Dynamics,
  • Lockheed Martin,
  • Northrop Grumman,
  • Oshkosh,
  • Rheinmetall AG,
  • Rolls-Royce Power Systems,
  • RTX, and
  • ThyssenKrupp.

The UN experts likewise named Western financial companies that have significantly invested in the arms industry, including:

  • Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung,
  • Amundi Asset Management,
  • Bank of America,
  • BlackRock,
  • Capital Group,
  • Causeway Capital Management,
  • Citigroup,
  • Fidelity Management & Research,
  • INVESCO Ltd,
  • JP Morgan Chase,
  • Harris Associates,
  • Morgan Stanley,
  • Norges Bank Investment Management,
  • Newport Group,
  • Raven’s wing Asset Management,
  • State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance,
  • State Street Corporation,
  • Union Investment Privatfonds,
  • Vanguard Group,
  • Wellington, and
  • Wells Fargo & Company.

“Failure to prevent or mitigate their business relationships with these arms manufacturers transferring arms to Israel could move from being directly linked to human rights abuses to contributing to them, with repercussions for complicity in potential atrocity crimes, the experts said”, the press release stated.

The United States sent Israel $3.8 billion in military aid every year before the Gaza war broke out in October 2023. Since then, Washington has shipped billions more in arms and ammunition.

President Joe Biden claimed that if Israel invaded Rafah, the Gazan city where approximately a million Palestinian civilians were concentrated, it would cross a red line and he would stop supporting Tel Aviv. The US president lied, however, and approved another $1 billion in arms and ammo after Israel attacked Rafah.

The US provides 65.6% of weapons exports to Israel, followed by Germany at 29.7% and Italy at 4.7%.

Big banks on Wall Street have helped Israel to fund its war on Gaza. In March, BNP Paribas, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, and Goldman Sachs underwrote $8 billion in bonds for Israel.

The muckraking website Wall Street on Parade noted: “Supplementing bond underwriting by megabanks on Wall Street, Israel owns its own broker-dealer in the United States – the Development Corporation for Israel, also known simply as Israel Bonds. Various iterations of the corporation operate in Germany, England, Canada and elsewhere. According to its website, global sales of Israel Bonds have exceeded $1 billion in each of the past four years”.

Since October, numerous US state governments, run by both Republicans and Democrats, have bought hundreds of millions of dollars of Israel bonds.

Asset managers on Wall Street have similarly faced scrutiny for their investments in Israel, as it carries out what the International Criminal Court has referred to as war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Activists in New York City held protests outside BlackRock’s headquarters in November, accusing the firm of profiting from Israel’s crimes.

BlackRock is the world’s largest investment company, with $10.5 trillion in assets under management.

BlackRock has operated in Israel since 2016, and strongly encourages investments there.

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