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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Seattle to be first US city to divest from Israel?

The city of Seattle may have an initiative on its ballot in November that would require it to divest from its investments in Israeli corporations. Initiative 97 would prohibit the city of Seattle from "investing its pension funds in corporations that benefit from the Iraq war, or companies that provide material support to the Israeli government within the so-called “occupied territories.” Seattle native and Israeli investment adviser Aaron Katsman explains.

Why the connection?

Is it because the sponsors were worried about human rights violations that they believe both Israeli and U.S. forces are committing? Couldn’t be, could it? After all, I didn’t see any reference to other countries in the region who are role models when it comes to human rights. For example, with all the freedoms they enjoy, we all know that women are living it up in some countries in the mid-east. I even heard that they are now allowed to uncover the bridges of their noses as well as their eyes!

But seriously, I find the sponsors of the measure to be an interesting group. You have the ANSWER Coalition, SNOW, the Palestine Solidarity Committee and the Green Party. The Green Party? When I was discussing this whole issue with my partner Zack Miller, he said,” Isn’t that ironic. Israel happens to be the world leader in GreenTech, CleanTech, WaterTech, and virtually every other environmentally friendly technology that’s being developed. What are the Green’s thinking?”

According to the Seattle-PI: ” The measure would not restrict city investments in The Boeing Co., backers said. Rather, it takes aim specifically at Halliburton Holding Co. and Caterpillar Inc.” Hum… Halliburton must be as a punishment to VP Cheney. But why not Boeing? They do work with Israeli defense company Elbit Systems (ESLT)? What about Microsoft (MSFT)? The software giant has purchased 7-8 Israeli hi-tech start-ups over the last few years and just announced the launch of an R&D center in Israel.

The fact is that pension funds have a fiduciary responsibility to do their best to make as much money as possible for their clients, period. Over the last few years investing in Israel has been one of the most profitable places in the world to invest. If these groups want to make a political stand, let them stand out in front of the Federal building on 2nd Ave. and protest. You don’t like the Iraq policy, vote for Obama. But don’t force money managers to invest in companies that they believe will produce inferior returns and impact the retirement of thousands and thousands of your neighbors, to fulfill your own political agenda.

In any event, divesting won’t help. Without knowing it, we all use Israeli ingenuity every single day of our lives. From voice mail (developed by Comverse), to instant messaging (ICQ), to the firewall that sits on your computer (Checkpoint), to the generic drugs you are taking (Teva Pharmaceuticals) and to the cell phone you just spoke on. Like it or not, your life is powered by Israel.

If you are against the war in Iraq, drop the divestment idea and pick up a picket sign instead. If Israel is your problem, then be consistent; start divesting from the Israeli innovation that you use, unknowingly, each and every day.

I would have added Intel to Aaron's list. That processor that's running your computer right now? Guess where it's made....

Read the whole thing.


At 8:58 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The moonbats should know a lot of goods in Israel make their way to the Arab World. It just isn't admitted officially. The Zionist enemy is everywhere and resistance IS really futile. The Arab boycott hasn't harmed Israel in 60 years and a Seattle boycott of Israel would only end up harming those who live there, not the Jewish State.

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

Maybe it's time for me to divest from Seattle. I have never been to that city, and I now have even less reason to go there.

At 11:52 PM, Blogger Findalis said...

I wonder if the Moonbats of Seattle are going to give up their cellphones in solidarity with the murderers of Gaza.

The sad thing is that this will pass.

At 3:26 AM, Blogger YITZI said...

My friends,

Anti-semitism is alive and well in the USA.

Just as the Muslims would prefer to live in the dark ages, so too the greenies would rather live in the dark if it comes from the Jews.


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