Thursday, February 18, 2010

Can we find 433,971 people to hate on Israel? California's Divestment Initiative

Cross posted Here:

After 10 years of abject failure, the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement, like the Energizer bunny, keeps going and going and going...

Chris Yatooma has recently introduced a ballot initiative to force California's state pension funds to divest from companies doing business in Israel. 433,971 signatures are needed by mid-July to put the proposed law on the November election ballot.

The initiative was submitted under the name of the "Israel Divestiture Forum," (IDF). According to an interview in the San Francisco Examiner , Yatooma claims "that's just me having some fun". No, Mr. Yatooma, it's fraud. The same way Paul Larudee of the International Solidarity Movement naming his latest anti-Israel venture the "Association for Investment in Popular Action Committees" ( AIPAC ) is fraud, meant to deliberately deceive. It’s the same tactics we've seen over and over again, as the anti-Israel forces attempt to push their agenda on a disinterested public. In the absence of facts and history, fraud and outright forgery have become the well-oiled tools in the anti-Israel tool chest.

According to Mr. Yatooma, "Public retirement systems in this state currently invest on behalf of the citizens of California in publicly traded foreign companies that may be at risk due to business ties with foreign states such as Israel." Clearly Mr. Yatooma has not read "Start up Nation" . Israel has more companies on the tech-oriented NASDAQ than any country outside the United States - more than all of Europe, Japan, Korea, India, and China combined. Israel also attracts more of the global pool of venture capital investments per capita than any other country, with $2 billion in foreign venture capital invested in 2008. For the last five years the Israeli economy has substantially outstripped the average GDP growth rate of developed countries. Today Israel has the highest density of startups in the world.

Yatooma's initiative is chock full of typos, misstatements and downright lies. His agenda is clear, however- by declaring "territory occupied by Israel since 1949" he denies the right of Israel to exist, within any borders.

Over the years the California initiative process has been hijacked by special interest groups pushing their agenda, and this year is no different. An initiative costs $200 to file, but can cost nearly $2 million to qualify for the ballot. The question is not whether Yatooma find 433,971 people to hate on Israel, but whether he can do it without resorting to fraud, forgery and lies. Given the history of the BDS movement, the odds aren't good.


Anonymous said...

Hows that boycott going, btw?

TEL AVIV, Feb 16 - Israel's economy grew at an annualised 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, its fastest pace in nearly two years and helped by a surge in exports as the country continued to recover from a brief downturn.

Exports -- which account for nearly half of Israel's economic activity -- surged 33 percent in the fourth quarter while consumer spending rose 4.4 percent, according to the government's prior estimate of fourth-quarter data.

Read more:

Do you think the Boycotts Divestment and Sanctions movement, by calling attention to the wide variety of Israeli consumer goods available in America, helped fuel this growth?

It wasn't until I heard about the variety of Israel goods at Trader Joes that I started shopping there, for example.

In any case, the thought makes me smile.

From the forest itself, come the handle for the axe.

Anonymous said...

Proposal Appears to Be Inconsistent With Systems' Fiduciary Obligations. We are not aware of any way that the systems could implement the large-scale divestiture in Israeli-related business activities that is contemplated by this measure without altering the risk profiles of their portfolios, affecting the diversification of their investments, and either violating or putting at serious risk their fiduciary obligations to members. Our assessment, therefore, is that CalPERS and CalSTRS likely would not comply fully with this statutory measure's divestiture requirements in light of their constitutional fiduciary duties.