Pro-Palestinian groups press Ohio to pull Israel Bonds investment

(Cleveland Jewish News/ Seventeen pro-Palestinian organizations from around Ohio signed an open letter demanding that the state of Ohio pull its $80 million investment in Israel bonds.

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Palestine solidarity organizations, the International Socialist Organization chapters in Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo and pro-Palestinian groups at Kent State University, The Ohio State University, University of Toledo and Oberlin College endorsed the letter.

The letter stated that the investment, “undertaken without consent” of Ohio citizens, “shames the state of Ohio and poorly reflects upon the character” of the state's citizens.

But Josh Mandel, treasurer of the state of Ohio, said Israel Bonds generate three to four more times the yield of U.S. Bonds, in which he said both the state of Ohio and the U.S. government also invest. He said Israel bonds are a “safe, secure and responsible” investment for Ohio tax dollars.

“In the Ohio Treasurer’s office, we make decisions on what’s best for our taxpayers,” Mandel said, “not based on what radical Islamic groups want us to do.”

Kent State Students for Justice in Palestine issued an email about signing the open letter.

“We are a group that calls for equality for Palestinians and all oppressed people around the world. Hence, it is our conviction that, by virtue of this purchase, the state of Ohio is being complicit with Israeli policies that discriminate against Palestinians,” the email said.

Posted on July 12, 2013 .