Seattle Invests in Israel

Now here’s an interesting little press release that came past the Divest This desk over the last 24 hours:

The board of directors of Bikur Cholim-Machzikay Hadath (“BCMH”) Congregation in Seattle Washington, which is celebrating its 120th year as a congregation in Seattle, voted Tuesday evening, October 5, 2010, to require that a minimum of twenty five (25%) percent of its endowment fund invest in Israeli investments, products or services. This vote was specifically passed to proactively support investment in Israel especially in times when the general public is boycotting Israeli products to support the “Palestinian cause”.

It is the opinion of the board of directors that it must set the example to other synagogues and Jewish organizations to encourage other Jewish institutions to “invest in Israel” both by giving moral support and financial support.

The board of directors of BCMH will also be publicizing their vote to invest in Israel to the Jewish world and to the public to make it clear that BCMH believes in Israel and supports Israel in this trying time of controversy.

In the last chapter of Sydney and Omar’s BDS Journey, I joked about unintended consequences of BDS activity being a surge in Israeli energies directed towards the country’s economic success (what might be called the “FU Factor”) as well as boycott and divestment noise putting the potential high return of investing in innovative Israeli companies in the spotlight.

At least with regard to the latter (investment), it looks like this was no joke. I’ve always said that vast majority of decisions regarding whether or not to invest or divest in companies that benefit the Jewish state or whether or not to buy Israeli products tend to get made for economic rather than political reasons. But it’s interesting to note that with this one politically-motivated investment decision, one synagogue in Seattle has generated more positive economic activity vis-à-vis Israel than all of the negative economic consequences resulting from a decade of BDS huffing, puffing and failure.

Food for thought.

6 thoughts on “Seattle Invests in Israel”

  1. As a frequent reposter of Divest This! material, a hardy “Job Well Done” on your continuing updating of the fight against delegitimization. This is not an insignificant contribution.

  2. Who says Israel is not interested in a two state solution?

    From the NYT:

    “On Monday his government supported a bill that would require a national referendum before any territory could be yielded in a peace deal.”

    “Danny Danon, a leader of the right wing of Likud, said in a telephone interview that while he generally does not favor referendums, he is in favor of this bill because it would make it harder to give up land and would reduce the chances of a Palestinian state coming into being.”

    Who says Israel mistreats its minority population?

    from Haaretz:

    “Cabinet ministers on Sunday approved by a majority vote a controversial amendment which would require every non-Jew wishing to become a citizen of Israel to pledge loyalty to “the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.”

  3. If you are a supporter of the BDS movement, which rejects any solution recognizing a Jewish state of Israel, then one might expect you to welcome such a development. And given that no Palestinian leader has ever offered peace (=the end of the conflict, the end of territorial claims, the end of claiming a nonexistent “right” of return), the speculations of a single member of the ruling coalition are not to be mistaken for the policies of the government.

    And perhaps it comes as news to you that new citizens in the United States have to swear an oath [see as do those in the UK, Canada and other countries. Though given the extremist politics of some of the fringe members of the Jewish community, it would be a good idea to make this a requirement of all Jews seeking to become citizens as well!

  4. DrMike

    No democracy will require it's minority religious population to pledge loyalty to a nation based on the majority religion.

    Or for that matter no democracy will require it's ethnic minorities to pledge loyalty to a nation based on the majority ethnicity.

    Assuming you are Jewish and about to be granted US citizenship, are you
    willing to pledge loyalty to the christian nation of America? How about pledging allegiance to the “white” united states of America?

    Bigotry a la Lieberman and DrMike at it's best (worst that is!)

  5. Anonymouse, Just curious. Do you have any objection to 56 Islamic states? To 22 Arab Islamic states? To a Palestinian Authority so racist that it imposes the death penalty on any of its residents who dares sells land to a Jew?

  6. Dear Anonymous anal orifice(1:58 PM): I assume you are referring to the occupied west bank. Since Israel has been building illegal settlements in occupied territories for decades now, Israel has no interest in peace but in realizing the Zionist dream of a Jewish nation between “river and sea”, I would consider any Jew living in occupied territory or buying land in occupied territory (as long there is no state of Palestine) as a criminal and an an enemy of the Palestinians.

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