Friday, May 31, 2013

JVP suffers a major defeat in its campaign against Tiaa-Cref

In a major defeat for Jewish Voice for Peace and the entire BDS Movement, the SEC has ruled that investment giant Tiaa-Cref is not required to include an anti-Israel measure at its shareholder’s meeting.

The campaign against Tiaa-Cref was launched in New York City on June 10, 2010. Called by Jewish voice for Peace and  attended by members of Code Pink,  Brooklyn for Peace, Veterans for Peace, Jews Say No and  Adalah, organizers anticipated  a 3-5 year campaign, quipping  “If we had a flotilla a week it can be much faster. We don’t think we can win in 6 months or a year.”   Its now been 3 full years of fail.

From the Jewish Press, written by Nitsana Darshan-Leitner 
The antisemitic BDS movement suffered a major defeat this week when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) authorized pension fund giant TIAA-CREF to exclude a resolution calling for divestments from Israeli companies from the ballot at the fund’s upcoming shareholders meeting. The resolution, put forward by a small band of extremist shareholders, would have allowed TIAA-CREF‘s full membership to vote on the resolution at the meeting in North Carolina in July. In the wake of the SEC ruling, however, the resolution will now not be presented to the shareholders and will not be voted upon at all.

 Following the submission of the divestment resolution, TIAA-CREF officials had written to the SEC requesting that it be permitted, due to its biased and anti-Israel political content, to “take no action” on the resolution. Essentially, it was asked that they be allowed to leave it off the ballot completely and ignored.

In response to this failure, Jewish Voice for Peace declared a Day of Rage against Tiaa-Cref, asking people to flood the Tiaa-Cref Offices with phone calls. 

At their "We Divest" website,  JVP and friends provides the formula for harassing Tiaa-Cref, and provide sample scripts to read

Dial: (212) 490-9000,
Press 1, when prompted for name of person you are calling say: “Roger Ferguson”
In the past, TIAA-CREF has shut down Ferguson’s phone line in response to mass call-in actions.  Luckily, you can still get your message through by trying other lines!

1.  If the phone number does not go through at all, try calling 212-913-2803 or 866-842-2442.  Press 1, and when prompted for name of person you are calling say: Roger Ferguson
2.  If the extension to Ferguson does not work, then call another high-ranking TIAA-CREF official.  For the Chief Operating Officer, press 1 and say “Ronald Pressman”.  For the Chief Financial Officer, press 1 and say “Gina Wilson”.

Quite a change from their June 2010 planning meeting, when they said  "Tiaa-Cref is not our enemy" .

Read more about this latest BDS fail at the Jewish press

And lets offer thanks to the SEC and to Nitsana Darshan-Leitner for ensuring that 200 extremists with a narrow political agenda do not dictate the investment policy for 3.7 million people.

UPDATE from the Algeminer

A decision by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to allow a major financial services group to ignore requests from Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activists to block investment in Israel set a precedent that could effectively end the BDS movement’s onslaught of the financial community, legal analysts told The Algemeiner.

Rather than a legal precedent in a court of law, the SEC’s decision to allow Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF), which manages $520 billion for 3.7 million people, to “take no action” on the BDS request to hear a motion at a shareholders meeting on operational grounds would offer the same protection for other major financial firms with investments in Israel....

A spokesman for TIAA-CREF explained the three pillars of its argument to the SEC: that it would be inappropriate for the financial services company to involve itself in a complex political debate; that the BDS motion was tantamount to micro-managing its management function of buying and selling stocks; and that the company already had an internal system for assessing any human rights concerns of countries where it invests.

In its decision, the SEC agreed with the final point: “There appears to be some basis for your view that the Fund may omit the proposal from the Fund’s proxy materials pursuant to Rule 14a-8(i)(10) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which permits omission of a proposal that has been substantially implemented...
 Sam Nunberg, director of the Middle East Forum’s Legal Project said, “This is a small victory for America in that our firms can go about their business, but it is a tremendous failure that more has not been done to end the BDS movement from twisting our system, ignoring our laws and lying to the good citizens of this country.”

1 comment:

Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

another defeat for the morons that Israel has as enemies.