A major public Israeli commercial bank.
The bank provides financing for housing projects in the settlements of Ariel, Har Homa, Ramat Rachel, Ma'ale Adumim, and Pisgat Ze'ev in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. These projects include at least seven housing complexes of 377 units in Har Homa, using the Heftziba, Dona, Kotler Adika, and Sasi construction companies. In Ma'ale Adumim settlement, the bank financed at least 10 construction projects, including about 369 housing units, a commercial center, and a park, built by Dona, Kotler-Adika, and Sasi. The bank also financed a construction project by Kotler-Adika in the Pisgat Ze'ev settlement which includes 49 housing units. In addition, the bank financed a 128-unit housing project in Ramat Rachel in East Jerusalem through the R. Ela construction company. Mizrahi Bank also provides financial safeguarding for a Hanan Mor construction project in the Ariel megasettlement.
The bank's website advertises construction projects in the settlements of Modi'in Ilit, Har Homa, and Pisgar Ze'ev.
Mizrahi-Tefahot provides loans and financial services to local settlement authorities and Israeli businesses operating in the occupied territories. The Kdumim settlement opened a loan account in Mizrahi Bank, in Otsar Hahayal Bank, and in Igud Bank; the Karnei Shomron settlement opened a loan account in Mizrahi Bank in 2010, in addition to the attachment of collateral of the settlement's incomes and property tax in Mizrahi Bank. The Gush Etzion settlement's regional council operates an account in Mizrahi Bank, which is also used for development and education expenses; Efrat settlement operates two accounts in the Mizrahi Bank branch in Alon Shvut--a welfare fund and an ordinary budget fund.
In addition, the bank provides mortgages for home buyers in settlements. For example in Ariel (from 2000, 2005, and 2009), Beit Arye (Ofarim) from 2009, 2 houses and land in Beitar Illit from 2010 and a house in Beitar ilit from 2009. In addition, the bank provided mortgage for homebuyer in Immanuel from 2002 and four homebuyers in Modi'in Ilit from 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2012.
Bank Adanim, a fully owned subsidiary of Mizrahi, provides mortgages for houses in settlements, such as a 2008 mortgage for a house in Beitar Illit.
The bank cooperated with Y.H. Dimri, an Israeli construction company, to market housing exclusively for Israeli security officers. The bank operates three branches in the illegal settlements of Alon Shvut and Karnei Shomron in the occupied West Bank, and a branch in the Ramat Eshkol settlement neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem.
A subsidiary of the bank (50% ownership), the Yahav Bank for government employees, has branches in occupied East Jerusalem, in the settlement of Ma'ale Adumim, and in Pisgat Ze'ev.
In July 2013, Ha'aretz newspaper reveled a recorded conversation with one of Mizrahi's representatives, who stated that the bank's policy is not to provide credit to Palestinian citizens of Israel in order to discourage them from opening an account in the bank. This is a violation of Israeli law, which forbids banks from refusing customers' requests to open accounts.
The bank is also a major shareholder in Morten Export and Growers, which specializes in packaging, shipping and the international marketing of fruits, vegetables and herbs, including organic products.The company is located in Tomer, which is an Israeli settlement in the Jordan Valley.
Economic Activism Highlights
- On February 22, 2016, the Students’ Society of Mcgill University general assembly voted to support the BDS movement by divesting from companies “profiting from violations of Palestinian human rights,” including Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank. It was later voted against and nullified in an online ratification.
- On January 12, 2016, the United Methodist Church’s Pension Board, one of the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., placed five Israeli Banks on its divestment list, claiming that these companies “pose excessive human rights risks.” The five banks are Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, First International Bank of Israel, Israel Discount Bank, and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank.
- Dutch pension fund PFZW excluded Mizrahi Tefahot Bank in 2014, citing its role in “financing...settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.”
- In February 2014, Luxembourg's national pension fund excluded Mizrahi Tefahot Bank from its list of investments because of its “association to financing illegal settlements in occupied territories.”
- Nordea Bank began engaging with Mizrahi Tefahot in 2014, citing ethical concerns.