Earlier this year, Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest, sold its holdings in Elbit Systems, Israel’s biggest non-government defense company. “Deutsche Bank no longer has a stake in Elbit Systems,” said CEO Josef Ackermann.
Elbit makes drones and other high-tech equipment, including surveillance cameras and radar used on Israel’s security barrier, which was erected to keep Palestinian suicide bombers out of the country. The bank was pressured to divest by two groups—International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and the Catholic non-governmental organization Pax Christi—on grounds that the barrier is illegal according to international law.
According to the two groups, Deutsche Bank sold 50,788 shares of Elbit, worth $2.6 million. The bank was among the top 10 holders of Elbit shares on the New York Stock Exchange. Elbit Systems has a total worth of more than $2 billion.
“The entire move is based on anti-Israel politics,” said an official in the Israeli Defense Ministry.
At the same time, the bank gave Elbit Systems a “Buy” recommendation.