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Saturday, September 12, 2009

TIA -CREF Pension Divests from Africa Israel over West Bank Ventures

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2009/09/tia-cref-pension-divests-from-africa.html

Remember the vote notice you got in the mail? The one you didn't bother with? ...
Someone else did bother with it, of course...Time to divest from TIA-CREF, if you can.
Last update - 20:02 12/09/2009
U.S. pension fund divests from Israel firm 'over West Bank ventures'

The U.S. pension fund giant, TIAA-CREF, confirmed in statements to the media on Friday that it divested from Africa Israel Investments, owned by Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, earlier this year.
A pro-Palestinian group reported Friday that the move was in protest against the firm's business ventures in the West Bank.
The statements came in response to a letter initiated by Adalah-NY (the New York office of the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel) and signed by TIAA-CREF clients.
The fund's investment in Africa Israel amounted to only $257,000, so the financial effect of the divestment is minimal. The news of the divestment came as the Israeli firm was suffering a deep financial crisis, having recently announced that is unable to meet its liabilities to its bondholders.
Officials at Adalah-NY claim that TIAA-CREF made the decision after the organization presented data on Africa Israel's activities in the West Bank.
Adalah NY noted in its press release that "Despite the recent divestment from Africa-Israel, the new June 30th TIAA-CREF report indicates that the fund continues to invest clients' money in a number of companies supporting Israeli settlement activity including Israel Discount Bank, Cellcom Israel, Bezeq Israeli Telecommunications Corp, Bank Leumi, and Motorola, among others."
Earlier this month the Norwegian government announced it was pulling all of its investments from Elbit Systems, which manufactures the monitoring system installed on several parts of the West Bank separation fence.
Norwegian Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen said that the decision was based on the recommendation of her ministry's council. "We do not wish to fund companies that so directly contribute to violations of international
humanitarian law," Halvorsen was quoted as saying, explaining that the separation barrier impinged on the freedom of movement of West Bank residents.

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5 Comments:

  • It's false.
    [David Bernstein, September 12, 2009 at 3:07pm] Trackbacks
    TIAA-CREF Divests from Israeli Company--Not::

    A group of left-wing professors sent a letter to TIAA-CREF asking it to divest from Africa Israel because it allegedly supports settlement activity on the West Bank. TIAA-CREF responded that it had already sold the small stake it owned in Africa Israel. Left-wing activists are now spinning this as "divestment" from an Israeli company, and some of the media are biting. But near as I can tell, all it means is that TIAA-CREF had sold the stock, as it buys and sells dozens of stocks every year, without regard to a letter it received thereafter. I myself have sold several Israeli stocks this year, but not because I'm divesting.

    According to the Chronicle of Higher Education:

    But this afternoon a TIAA-CREF spokesman said the pension company "no longer owns shares in Africa-Israel Investments Ltd." The spokesman, Chad Peterson, said that, "earlier this year, the CREF Stock Account had an extremely small investment" in Africa-Israel, but the holding has since been sold.... TIAA-CREF posted a statement on its Web site reiterating Mr. Peterson's assertions and noting that the "small number of shares" of Africa-Israel have not been part of the CREF account since June 30, when they were dropped from an emerging-markets index that the account tracks.

    Doesn't sound remotely like "divestment" to me.

    Dishonest activist groups + credulous media equals bogus stories.

    By Blogger DB, At September 12, 2009 7:25:00 PM GMT+00:00  

  • Please note that Ha'aretz has corrected this article. There was no relationship stated by TIAA-CREF between its decision and Israeli settlements, and the divestment decsion came before TIAA-CREF was contacted about settlements:

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1114043.html

    By Blogger Pat, At September 12, 2009 8:27:00 PM GMT+00:00  

  • Actually, like recent BDS "victories" at Motorola, Caterpillar and Hampshire College, the "TIAA-CREF divested from Israel" story looks like yet another divestment hoax. (One of many this year, looks like a pattern.)

    Find out more at www.divestthis.com.

    Jon

    By Blogger Site Owner, At September 14, 2009 12:54:00 AM GMT+00:00  

  • This was not a political decison- this was pure capitalism, based on economic reasons:

    Statement on Letter to TIAA-CREF by Coalition for Justice in the Middle EastNew York, September 11, 2009 --
    TIAA-CREF no longer owns shares in Africa-Israel Investments Ltd. A letter dated September 11 from the Coalition for Justice in the Middle East calls on TIAA-CREF to sell shares in that company, which the signatories allege builds and maintains homes in Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.

    While a small number of shares of Africa-Israel Investments Ltd. were held in the CREF Stock Account, since June 30, 2009 they are no longer held in the Account following their removal from an emerging markets index that the Account tracks, as part of a regular rebalancing.

    Tia-Creff still invests millions in Israeli ventures

    By Blogger Dusty, At September 14, 2009 4:18:00 PM GMT+00:00  

  • The situation is NOT clear. Ha'aretz has NOT changed their story. TIA-CREFF issued a press release that since vanished from the Web.
    See http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2009/09/tia-cref-divestment-hoax.html and thanks for your alert comments.

    By Blogger News Service, At September 15, 2009 4:42:00 PM GMT+00:00  

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