In 1950, Israeli leaders and a group of Americans met in Jerusalem to discuss ways of financing the new country of Israel. The group came up with the idea to sell bonds. They called their company the Development Corporation for Israel and began a campaign to sell Israel Bonds in the United States.
Today more than 80 state and municipal governments, including Minnesota, Florida, Louisiana, Indiana, Arizona, South Carolina, Maryland, and New York City, have invested at least $2 billion in Israel Bonds. In March 2013, Ohio bought $42 million in Israel Bonds, reportedly the largest single government purchase of Israel Bonds in U.S. history.
Israel Bonds help finance the Israeli government’s budget, thereby aiding Israel’s ongoing colonization of Palestinian land and entrenching its apartheid policies and military occupation. In other words, when municipalities and state buy Israel Bonds, residents of those cities and states are made directly complicit in financing Israel’s oppression of Palestinians.
See below for information about starting your own divestment campaign.
Israel State Bonds Online Briefing
January 16th, 2014
Recording of briefing with MN Break the Bonds Campaign.< MN Break the Bonds Campaign
Since 2006, member group MN BBC has been organizing to end their state’s investment in Israel Bonds, worth around $18 million. Their website is full of resources to help other divestment campaigns.