In early January, PGGM, the Dutch pension giant, decided to divest from Israel’s five largest banks because of their business ties with West Bank settlements. The Dutch Pension Fund for Care and Wellbeing, whose funds are managed by PGGM, immediately put the big five, Hapoalim, Leumi, Discount, the First International Bank and Mizrahi-Tefahot, on its exclusion list.

Two weeks later other major European investment funds, ABP, a huge Dutch pension fund, the Scandinavian Nordea Investment Management and Norway’s DNB Asset Management, announced they were considering following suit. KLP, one of Norway’s biggest pension funds, said it would discuss “dilemmas linked to the financing of West Bank settlements;” and the Dutch-based ING international investment house declared that it had requested independent third party research on the settlement issue.


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