Meanwhile back in the homeland…

I don’t normally post about events in my home country, but this has got to be an exception. Dexia – a bank which has been giving me some grief lately about my own account – seems to be rather more friendly disposed towards Israeli thieves of Palestinian land, despite earlier public assurances that it would ‘no longer’ support them. But then, who has ever believed a word of what the bullish and boorish corrupt ex-Belgian PM, subsequently member of the board at AB-Inbev and Dexia Jean-Luc Dehaene says? Read on to the last paragraph, though, to see another sign of Israel’s imminent demise – even shareholders of European banks are now starting to get concerned about being associated with the vicious apartheid regime. IPS reports: ‘Jean-Luc Dehaene, a former Belgian prime minister and now Dexia’s chairman, announced last year that the bank had not approved any new loans to authorities located in Israeli settlements in the West Bank since June 2008.  This week, however, the Israeli human rights group Who Profits from the Occupation? obtained documents that contradict Dehaene. These papers give details of loans worth a total of more than eight million shekels (two million dollars) to the Shomron regional council, which covers 30 Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and to Gush Etzion, a bloc of settlements near Bethlehem. All of the loans were authorised by Dexia Israel between April and December 2009.  Earlier this month Who Profits? published details of a separate loan of 6.8 million shekels (1.8 million dollars) to the local authority in Gush Etzion. Earmarked for a water treatment plant, that loan was issued at the end of May last year — a fortnight after Dehaene’s announcement.  Merav Amir, a Who Profits? spokeswoman, said there is an “obvious discrepancy” between what Dexia Israel has been doing and what Dexia’s executives in its Brussels headquarters have been saying. Some 66 percent of Dexia Israel is owned by its Belgian-French parent company.  “The Belgians who have the controlling shares in Dexia Israel either don’t know what their subsidiary is doing or they have been misled,” Amir told IPS. “Or else they have suppressed that information. We know for sure that their declarations are not correct.”  Dehaene, who is also a member of the European Parliament, did not respond to IPS requests for a comment. But when addressing Dexia’s annual general meeting (AGM) for this year May 12, Dehaene said he was a “little bit surprised” by the high level of interest in Dexia Israel’s activities among the bank’s shareholders. A lively discussion ensued, in which one shareholder accused the bank of being an “accomplice in the murder” of Palestinian civilians.

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