Saturday, July 16, 2011

JVP, Tiaa Cref and Pointless Gestures

Some friends of ours emailed us a copy of their TIAA CREF proxy statement, proudly showing their support for Israel, in what they felt was a highly visible and effective manner

And while we were delighted about the support, we explained that proxy statements went to independent tabulating firms, not to Tiaa Cref, and this was an ineffective way to make a pro-Israel statement to their retirement fund.

Generally, its the anti-Israel activists who expend their energy in ineffective manners. Divest this points out this cringe-worthy "flash mob" (lacking, as commenters have pointed out , both "flash" and "mob")

From Divest this:
"Well we defenders of Israel might as well throw in the towel now that BDS advocates have decided to triple down on their “Flash Mob” strategy of pulling 8-12 people together to break into incoherent song and dance at telephone stores or (more recently) a meeting of TIAA CREF here in Boston. After all, who can possibly withstand the awesome political power of images such as this:"

JVP's scheme to coerce Tiaa Cref to divest from Israel's "resilient, globally-oriented and technologically advanced" economy was launched in New York June 10, 2010 , with a coalition that consisted of Code Pink (3 members), Brooklyn for Peace, Veterans for Peace (2 members), Jews Say No, and Adalah (2 members) It was a long term 3-5 year campaign, with organizers declaring "We don’t think we can win in 6 months or a year."... and wistfully mentioning "If we had a flotilla a week it can be much faster."

And they were right. In a full year, they've only managed to gather signatures on an on-line petition, the vast majority from anti-Israel activists world wide who do not hold accounts with Tiaa Cref. And yes, they've managed to get a half dozen or so folks willing to make fools of themselves on youtube. Over and over. And then there was this baffling email from JVP's own Alice Rothchild where she states "CREF has chosen to refuse to share with its own investors a shareholder proposal submitted by nearly 20 of their participants--including me" . Nearly 20, Alice? NEARLY 20? Tiaa Cref serves over 3.7 million individuals and more than 15,000 institutions. Persumably one of the main reasons for their success is that they don't allow "nearly 20" to dictate sound investment strategies for the other 3,699,980.

There is another day o'rage scheduled against Tiaa Cref July 19. Expect more "flash mobs". Yawn. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In case anyone cares, here's the SF action. If you decide to respond, please be careful. It's being organized by Alexei Folger, who assaulted that disabled woman at a JVP meeting, not that long ago.

San Francisco
Time: 12:00 pm
Location: 560 Mission Street, between 1st and 2nd