Thursday, August 15, 2013

Another BDS Hoax from JVP and Friends: TIAA-CREF confirms Sodastream holdings

Last month, the We Divest Campaign,  which includes Adalah-NY, the American Friends Service Committee, Grassroots International, Jewish Voice for Peace, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, and the US Palestinian Community Network claimed that Financial giant TIAA-CREF had divested from Sodastream, an Israeli company that manufacturers home carbonation devices.

Their press release read:
Pension fund giant TIAA-CREF has removed the increasingly controversial Israeli company SodaStream (NASD: SODA) from its portfolio. As of March 2013, financial data posted on TIAA-CREF’s website valued shares in SodaStream at $9,444,292. According to financial data available today, it is zero.
“No matter the reason TIAA-CREF dropped SodaStream, we view this as a conscientious decision.” said Sydney Levy of the We Divest Campaign ( “While SodaStream may be a profitable investment, it is socially bankrupt, operating out of an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.”
Alissa Wise, from JVP's Rabbinic council also sent out an email, declaring victory over the forces of evil and sound financial planning..
It is an exciting time for the We Divest Campaign!
Today, we released the news that according to TIAA-CREF's available financial data, they have dropped their investments in SodaStream--the Israeli company which manufactures its home seltzer machines in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Read more about TIAA-CREF dropping SodaStream!
Tomorrow, is the CREF shareholder meeting and the We Divest National Day of Action! We Divest activists will be taking to the streets in over a dozen cities nationwide. Locate a demonstration near you and join us!
If you can't join us in the streets, you can always be part of making our demand that TIAA-CREF divest from the Israeli occupation right from your couch! Log-on to Twitter and/or Facebook and help spread the word!
Alissa, We Divest National Coordinator

 Like so many other claims regarding the success of the BDS movement, this turned out to be false.

From The Algemeiner
TIAA-CREF, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund, which manages $520 billion on behalf of millions of teachers and other union members, confirmed on Thursday that, as of July 15, 2013, it held a significant stake in SodaStream International Ltd., denying claims from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that the fund manager had sold its shares in the Israeli company as a political protest.

A TIAA-CREF spokesman said that information provided in its second quarter filing of June 30, 2013, was accurate and that SodaStream shares were held during that period. The fund is prohibited by regulators to cite positions held within the past 30 days, but the spokesman was also able to confirm to The Algemeiner that SodaStream shares were still in its portfolio as of July 15, 2013, the last date it could disclose.

The spokesman said that while there was an element of truth in the BDS claim,  it was also, ultimately, inaccurate.  One TIAA-CREF fund, its Mid-Cap Growth fund, had sold its SodaStream shares as of its first quarter filing on Mar 31, 2013. But, within the second quarter, Soda Stream shares were bought by another TIAA-CREF portfolio, the  Growth & Income Fund, which continued to hold the shares, as of July 15.

Meanwhile, an institutional fund, called the General Account, which invests for the TIAA-CREF Traditional Annuity product and only reports its holdings once a year, was ignored by the BDS campaign: that TIAA-CREF portfolio has held its SodaStream shares continuously, including during the second quarter.

 True to form, no disclaimer, rebuttal or addendum has appeared on any of the sites formerly claiming this a "huge" BDS success. No email has been sent out apologizing for the misleading information.

Truth does not matter to those that hate Israel. It never has. It never will.


Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

Israel's enemies trying to manufacture victories where none exist is nothing new rather on the battle field or in politics. for example many of the arabs pretty much always declare a "victory" after any military engagement they have with Israel in which they managed to survive. this is despite sustaining far more losses and not having achieved a single military objective in their campaign. it's so pathetic.

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