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September 14, 2009

Ha'aretz Misleads on TIAA-CREF Divestment


Ora Coren's report in Ha'aretz fails to make clear that the decision of U.S. pension fund giant TIAA-CREF to divest from Africa Israel Investments is due to financial considerations as opposed to the boycott Israel campaign. She writes:

The U.S. pension fund giant, TIAA-CREF, confirmed in statements to the media on Friday that it divested from Africa Israel Investments, owned by Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, earlier this year.

The statements came in response to a letter initiated by a pro-Palestinian group, Adalah-NY, and signed by TIAA-CREF clients.

The fund's investment in Africa Israel amounted to only $257,000, so the financial effect of the divestment is minimal. The news of the divestment came as the Israeli firm was suffering a deep financial crisis, having recently announced that is unable to meet its liabilities to its bondholders.

Coren then mentions the Norwegian government's recent decision to divest from Elbit Systems for political reasons in the context of the TIAA-CREF case. What Coren fails to report is that the two cases are in no way parallel. The Adalah-NY letter calling on TIAA-CREF to divest was sent Sept. 11, 2009, while TIAA-CREF sold off that investment four months earlier on June 30, 2009. Thus, the pension fund's decision to divest had nothing to do with Adalah's anti-Israel campaign and everything to do with sound financial considerations.

Posted by TS at September 14, 2009 04:12 AM


It looks like the whole TIAA-CREF story (like similar divestment stories related to Motorola earlier this year) is another divestment hoax. See for details.

Posted by: Jon at September 14, 2009 06:35 AM

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