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.