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New Jersey Divests From Top Danish Bank after It Boycotts Israeli Companies

New Jersey announced that it will divest from Danske Bank, Denmark’s largest bank, after the bank announced that it would not invest in two Israeli companies, Benjamin Weinthal reported Sunday for The Jerusalem Post.

The action was taken in line with New Jersey’s anti-boycott legislation passed last year.

Danske Bank has blacklisted two Israeli defense contractors, Aryt Industries and Elbit Systems, from investments for its customers. Thomas Hyldahl Kjærgaard, who is in charge of responsible investing for the bank, told the Post earlier this year that “Danske Bank does not boycott Israel or Israeli companies as such, and we do not take part in the so-called BDS campaign targeting Israel.”

However in 2010, when the bank announced that Elbit Systems failed to meet its socially responsible investment standards, reasons cited in the Danish media attributed the decision to its “activities in settlement areas and on the security fence.”

New Jersey is the third state to outlaw state business with Danske Bank. Previously New York and Colorado stopped doing business with the bank due to their anti-boycott laws.

It has been reported that Danske Bank has signed a 500 million euro ($593 million) contract with 10 Iranian banks, including Bank Sepah. Germany has frozen contracts with Bank Sepah, which has a history of supporting Iran’s missile program.

[Photo: Thorfinn Stainforth / WikiCommons]