BDS co-founder Omar Barghouthi said in a video that was uploaded to the YouTube channel of the Bahraini Society Against Normalization on September 17, 2020 that BDS is monitoring Arab companies that are normalizing relations with Israel. Specifically, he warned First Abu Dhabi Bank, which he said has been in dialogue with Israeli banks Leumi and Hapoalim, that BDS can harm its reputation and should not be underestimated. Barghouthi added that BDS is calling for a boycott of every company involved in the "betrayal of the Palestinian cause". For more about Omar Al-Barghouti, see MEMRITV clip no. 5703 and 6008.
Omar Barghouthi: "With the help of our friends in the UAE, in Bahrain, and everywhere, we monitor the Arab companies that are normalizing with Israel. For example, we have been monitoring First Abu Dhabi Bank – the biggest bank in the UAE. It began a dialogue with Bank Leumi and Bank Hapoalim, which are two Israeli banks that have been involved, for decades, in the Israeli crimes against our people. By the way, these two banks – Leumi and Hapoalim – are on the U.N. list of companies that collaborate with the occupation.
"This is why, for example, the Netherland's largest investment fund, a few months ago, has decided to withdraw its investments from Bank Leumi – the same bank that First Abu Dhabi Bank has established a relationship with. Just imagine that we have managed to convince a bank in the Netherlands to withdraw its investments in an Israeli bank because of its involvement in violating [Palestinian] human rights, and the same goes for Bank Hapoalim, but at the same time, First Abu Dhabi Bank is establishing relationships with them.
"We monitor these companies and we have published a clear stance, from the Arab civil society, not just from Palestine, in which we call for the boycotting of every company and every establishment that gets involved in the implementation of the agreements of shame and betrayal of the Palestinian cause, beginning with the First Abu Dhabi Bank.
"We have warned them and if they go ahead, and sign an agreement with an Israeli bank, we will call for a boycott for that bank. It is not easy to boycott a bank of such magnitude. However, this bank should know that we have the power to influence the public opinion, and to harm its reputation and its market. This bank should not underestimate the BDS movement, because we have brought huge companies like Veolia to their knees, as well as international banks that folded under the pressure of BDS."