Now this is strange.
According to Divest This! moles buried deep within every BDS organization in the country, Jewish Voice for Peace (an organization I enjoy taking apart in my other blogger/hobby) has decided to make TIAA CREF their target for divestment over the coming months and years.
But didn’t TIAA CREF already divest from Israel last year according to BDS advocates including (if I am not mistaken) the aforementioned Jewish Voice for Peace? So why target the retirement fund again, given that it’s already supposedly following the lead of the boycotters on investment/divestment decisions related to the Middle East?
Oh yes, now I remember! The TIAA CREF divestment story from last year turned out to be a fraud! The company made it clear that its decisions regarding buying and selling shares in Israeli companies (or companies doing business with Israel) had nothing to do with politics including (or should I say, especially) the politics of those hectoring them to join the BDS bandwagon.
So now it seems that JVP is trying to win a genuine victory with CREF, rather than take the easier (but ultimately more ridiculous) route of trying to perpetrate another divestment hoax. Unfortunately, once you send out press releases making false claims about the actions of a third party (such as TIAA-CREF), that third party is not very likely to want to take your phone calls the following year. Which is why CREF has responded to their new campaign with a polite but firm “We are not divesting from holdings in Israel” followed by “We appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts” which to me reads like “don’t call us, we won’t call you”.
Now no one knows what the future may hold with regard to CREF or any other investor in Israel. But as we wait to see what happens, I think it’s more than fair to demand that, given its history, JVP and other divestment supporters can only claim victory when they stand alongside the leaders of the group that is supposedly doing the divesting at a joint press conference where CREF states clearly and unequivocally that the organization is divesting for the political reasons claimed for them by the BDSers. Fair enough?
Until then, I’m happy to take the boycotters at their word that a dollar spent or pulled from the stocks they list represents support or political criticism of the Jewish state. Which means that, at least for now, CREF supports the state of Israel to the tune of $300,000,000.
Let the games begin.