US church boycotts five Israeli banks, one company

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SHAFAQNA – The pension fund for the United Methodist Church in the US has blocked five Israeli banks from its investment portfolio in what it describes as a broad review meant to discard of enterprises that profit from abuse of human rights.

According to New York Times newspaper on Wednesday, the Israeli banks on the Methodist Church’s list are Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, First International Bank of Israel, Israel Discount Bank and Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot.

The Israeli banks were among 39 companies from several countries that have been excluded from the pension fund’s portfolio for not meeting its human rights investment policy guidelines.

The list also includes an Israeli construction company, Shikun and Binui, which the fund says is heavily involved in settlement building.

The Methodist Church has about 13 million members worldwide and is the largest mainline Protestant group in the US.

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