A pro-Israel activist in Ohio is praising that state for recently purchasing $61 million worth of Israel Bonds in response to the BDS movement against the Jewish state.
In December, lawmakers in Columbus passed a statute prohibiting the state from contracting with companies that engage in the controversial boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. The measure increased from 1 percent to 2 percent the amount of funds the state treasurer or county treasurers may invest in foreign bonds meeting specified criteria, including Israel Bonds.
Then earlier this month, Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandell announced the state will take advantage of the new law to purchase a one-day record $61 million in Israel Bonds, making Ohio the largest holder of Israel Bonds with $165 million.
Benjamin Mutti is a coordinator with the Richland Community Prayer Network, made up of 103 clergy from North Central Ohio. He is encouraged that his state is standing strong in support of the Jewish nation.
"Ohio is ... saying We oppose boycotting Israel and we support contractors that do not boycott Israel and do not sanction Israel," he tells OneNewsNow. "And that actually catapults Ohio to the largest owner of Israel Bonds in all the United States."
Mutti says he can't help but think that the state will be blessed as a result.
"It says in Genesis 12:3 [that] those who bless Israel, the Lord of Hosts will bless them as well," he points out. "Local and state governments are hoping that Israel will prosper and be successful. Whenever you have a bond for the Israeli government, you're actually supporting the Israeli government."
According to the Israel Bonds website, sales last year in the U.S. exceeded $1.127 billion – the largest domestic total in the organization's history. Those investments, it says, send an unmistakable message to BDS advocates: "Israel's economy will remain strong."
A 'bogus' basis for BDS endorsement
Meanwhile, the student government of a university in Massachusetts is being accused of using questionable means earlier this month to pass a resolution endorsing the BDS movement.
The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate passed a resolution calling for the school to divest from companies it claims are implicated in the "occupation" and "apartheid" of "Occupied Palestinian territory." The companies specified in the resolution are Elbit Systems, G4S, Northrop Grumman, and Hewlett Packard Enterprises.
Tammi Rossman Benjamin, director of the pro-Israel AMCHA Initiative, says this and other similar resolutions are bogus.
"This has happened ad nauseam that we have a group like Students for Justice in Palestine who bring a sham resolution that accuses Israel of all kinds of ridiculous crimes," she says, "and then makes it the basis for essentially boycotting Israel or boycotting businesses that do business with Israel."
Benjamin says the TCU Senate used stealth tactics to get the resolution passed. "The student government actually timed the vote on this particular resolution to be at a time when many Jewish students were going home for Passover – it was on the Eve of Passover," she notes.
While members of the student senate were ecstatic at their success, Benjamin says she is unaware of any university that has complied with the terms of any student-passed BDS resolution.