Going Dutch on Divestment Fraud

Hats off to Ben Cohen of AJC who rapidly exposed the latest BDS hoax which claimed that PGGM, one of the Netherland’s largest retirement funds, had divested from Israel.

As with the Harvard hoax earlier this year, the perpetual BDS fraudsters at Electronic Intifada took an ordinary business transaction and tried to imbue it with political motivation in hopes that some media outlet would pick up on the story to give the divestment “movement” some well-needed momentum.

PGGM, like many institutional investors, has been shuffling around Israel-related assets for a number of months to take into account the fact that Israel is now (after joining the OECD) considered a developed, rather than a developing country. As noted previously, this change of status creates some short-term volatility as funds charted to only deal with developing countries sell off Israel-related equities and funds that deal with developed countries get familiar with the Israeli market.

Cohen was able to discover the truth behind this story by simply dropping an e-mail to the appropriate person at PGGM asking for details regarding whether or not the EI story was true. Details of this correspondence appear here, but suffice to say that all it took to uncover the fakery behind this divestment “story” was someone with some journalistic curiosity asking the right people the right questions.

A couple of good pieces of news associated with this story:

* After two years of Hampshire, Blackrock, TIAA-CREF, Harvard and now PGGM divestment hoaxes, the mainstream media is no longer taking claims of divestment at face value (the PGGM story got virtually no play outside of the self-congratulatory world of BDS blogs)

* There are now many people ready to challenge divestment claims, meaning the free ride BDS fraudsters received in 2009 is clearly and officially ended

* The burden of proof has now shifted to the boycotters to provide evidence that their divestment success stories are true, rather than requiring Israel’s defenders to prove they are false

I’ve said before that the BDS cru has an easy method to demonstrate the validity of any claim of success they are trying to peddle: by simply having the decision-makers at an organization they say has divested to stand alongside the BDSers when a divestment story is announced. Absent that (and after nearly two years of debunked divestment hoaxes) I think it’s a safe assumption that the boycotters are simply trying to play the rest of us for fools yet again.

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