NJ Bill Bans Pension Funds from Boycotting Israel

A recent legislation passed by New Jersey’s Senate bans pension companies from investing with any business currently boycotting Israel. The bill passed with nearly complete support from the Senate. NJ officials hope the ban will send a message of support to Israel.

NJ.com discusses the topic further:

The state Senate threw nearly full support Monday behind a bill requiring New Jersey’s public worker pension fund to divest from companies that boycott Israeli goods and businesses.

The bill (S1923) pushing back against businesses participating in the Palestinian-led “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” movement against Israel was approved 39-0. The Assembly still needs to take action on the bill.

State Sen. Jim Beach (D-Camden), a sponsor, said on the Senate floor Monday that “I think this bill sends a very clear message to our friends in Israel that New Jersey has your back.”

Under that bill, the state Division of Investments would be barred from investing public workers’ $68.6 billion pension fund in these companies and dump any of these existing holdings within 18 months.

It makes exceptions for companies that provide “humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people through either a governmental or nongovernmental organization unless it is also engaging in prohibited boycotts.”

[…]

“New Jersey cannot support such biased practices as those of the BDS against our sister state,” state Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) said in a statement. “Israel has long been a vibrant trading partner, ally and friend with our state, and making sure that we are not investing in any company that seeks to hurt the interests of Israel or its people through boycotts, divestments and sanctions will send a clear message that we stand against this kind of veiled discrimination.”

The bill joins existing New Jersey motions that prohibit pension funds from investing in business that are connected to Sudan, Northern Ireland, or Iran.

 

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