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Break Israel Bonds!

by Ramah Kudaimi, Membership & Outreach Coordinator
January 10th, 2014

This briefing happened on January 16, 2014. You can watch the recording here. 

Join Online Briefing on Israel State Bonds and Divestment Efforts 

In 1950, Israeli leaders and a group of Americans met in Jerusalem to discuss ways of financing the new country of Israel. The group came up with the idea to sell bonds. They called their company the Development Corporation for Israel and began a campaign to sell Israel Bonds in the United States. 

Today more than 80 state and municipal governments, including Florida, Louisiana, Indiana, Arizona, South Carolina, Maryland, and New York City, have invested at least $2 billion in Israel Bonds. In March last year, Ohio bought $42 million in Israel Bonds, reportedly the largest single government purchase of Israel Bonds in U.S. history. 

Israel Bonds help finance the Israeli governmentís budget, thereby aiding Israelís ongoing colonization of Palestinian land and entrenching its apartheid policies and military occupation. In other words, when municipalities and state buy Israel Bonds, residents of those cities and states are made directly complicit in financing Israelís oppression of Palestinians. 

Want to learn more about Israel Bonds and how to organize a divestment campaign? Join a national online briefing on Thursday, January 16 at 8:30pm EST/5:30pm PST with member group Minnesota Break the Bonds!

Since 2006, the Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign (MN BBC) has been organizing to end their state's investment in Israel Bonds, worth around $18 million. After public letter-writing campaigns to state lawmakers and meetings with representatives from the State Board of Investment (SBI) did not lead to divestment, in 
November 2011, MN BBC, along with 26 other co-plaintiffs, including Palestinian residents of Bilíin in the West Bank and members of the Israeli group Boycott From Within, served a lawsuit against the SBI demanding that it cancel its Israel Bonds investments. The lawsuit was dismissed and in November 2012, the Minnesota Court of Appeals failed to reverse that decision. The campaign continues and last September, members of MN BBC personally delivered a comprehensive report to Governor Mark Dayton at the quarterly SBI meeting documenting the SBIís twenty year failure to follow its own international human rights investment guidelines. 

As more states and municipalities invest in Israel, join this national briefing to learn about the history of the campaign; the different mechanisms the group is pursuing including media, legislative, educational, and regulatory and judicial efforts; and tips about how you can start your own campaign.

Click here to register.