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Thousands of people vow not to bank with Barclays until it ends its complicity with Israeli genocide and apartheid

  • 1500 people collectively close their Barclays accounts today (Friday 9 February)
  • Thousands more pledge never to bank with Barclays, in echo of South African anti-apartheid struggle
  • Barclays is condemned for its financial ties with arms companies supplying Israel with weapons used in its attacks

UK banking giant Barclays is once again the target of mass boycott campaign as more than 1500 people close their accounts today 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.

Barclays Bank holds over £1 billion in shares and provides over £3 billion in loans and underwriting to 9 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.

Today’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. Saturday 10th February sees an eighth National Day of Action for Palestine, with events from Abergavenny to Wolverhampton, several of them 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.”