Jewish Voice for Peace Urges TIAA-CREF to Divest from Companies that Profit from Israeli Occupation at July 17 Annual Meeting
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 12, 2012
Jewish Voice for Peace Urges TIAA-CREF to Divest from Companies that
Profit from Israeli Occupation at July 17 Annual Meeting
NEW YORK – Next Tuesday, July 17, at 1 p.m. ET, national organization Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) will join a coalition of human rights groups urging the College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) to stop investing in companies that profit from Israel’s occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands, at the pension fund giant’s annual meeting in New York City. (See below for details)
TIAA-CREF pro-divestment shareholders will be present at the meeting to ask questions, while human rights advocates will demonstrate their support for divestment on the street outside, and at TIAA-CREF offices across the country, including in Chicago. Divestment supporters will remind TIAA-CREF trustees that they are profiting from companies whose products are used to destroy Palestinian schools, make Palestinian families homeless, and to deny millions of Palestinians basic human rights like freedom of movement.
“Palestinians deserve the same civil and democratic rights that Jewish Israelis do,” said Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace. “We believe divestment, as called for by Palestinian civil society, is the best tool we have to move toward a just peace based on freedom, security, and equal rights for all the people of Israel and Palestine.”
JVP is encouraged by last month’s news that TIAA-CREF has dropped $72 million in Caterpillar shares from its Social Choice fund, following Caterpillar’s downgrading by influential ethical investment ratings agency MSCI earlier in the year. In late June, MSCI issued a statement citing the “on-going controversy associated with use of [Caterpillar’s] equipment in the occupied Palestinian territories” as a “key factor” in its decision.
Jewish Voice for Peace is the founding member of the We Divest Campaign, a coalition effort started in 2010 to urge TIAA-CREF to drop Caterpillar and other companies that profit from and facilitate Israel’s 45-year-old military occupation and colonization of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip.
WHEN and WHERE (NYC):
Tuesday, July 17, at 1 pm ET
TIAA-CREF Office (730 Third Avenue)
New York City
Organized by: Adalah-NY
WHEN and WHERE (CHICAGO):
Rally at 12 pm CT at the Thompson Center (100 W. Randolph Street--in front of the white statue); protest at 12:45 pm CT at TIAA-CREF office in Chicago (200 N. LaSalle St.)
Organized by: AFSC-Chicago
WHEN and WHERE (San Francisco): Tuesday, July 17, 12 pm – 1:15 pm PT, in front of the TIAA-CREF office in SF at 560 Mission, between 1st and 2nd Sts.
Organized by: JVP Bay Area
Rabbi Alissa Wise, Jewish Voice for Peace Director of Campaigns
Jewish Voice for Peace is a national grassroots peace organization dedicated to promoting a US foreign policy in the Middle East based on peace, democracy, human rights and respect for international law.
JVP has offices in NY, Oakland and Seattle; over 115,000 supporters; 30 plus chapters and a Rabbi's Council. The board of advisors includes Tony Kushner, Ed Asner, Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, Eve Ensler and others.