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WED 9/8: LA to Launch Divest from Israel CA Ballot Initiative

by California Israel Divestment Campaign Wednesday, Sep. 08, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Californians committed to peace and justice for Palestine-Israel will launch the statewide campaign of California ballot Initiative 10-0020 with a signing ceremony in front of the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles on Wednesday, September 8, 2010. Although California has adopted policies requiring divestment from Sudan, Iran and other nations, this is the first ballot measure in the nation aimed at changing Israeli policies through divestment by State agencies. It directs California’s large public employee and teacher pension funds to be consistent with their responsible investing policies and to divest from companies that violate the human rights of Palestinians. The description provided by the office of the Attorney General when it approved the measure for circulation last week says that the initiative “prohibits state retirement funds from investing in companies engaged in certain business activities in Israel.”

MEDIA ADVISORY:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010



“DIVEST FROM ISRAEL” CALIFORNIA BALLOT INITIATIVE LAUNCHES STATEWIDE ON WEDNESDAY WITH A SIGNING CEREMONY IN FRONT OF ISRAELI CONSULATE IN LA



First Ballot Measure in Nation Aimed at Changing Israeli Policies

Through Divestment by State Agencies

California Israel Divestment Campaign

www.israeldivestmentcampaign.org



VISUALS: Giant petition to be signed by speakers.



LOS ANGELES, CA (Sept.7) --Californians committed to peace and justice for Palestine-Israel will launch the statewide campaign of California ballot Initiative 10-0020 with a signing ceremony in front of the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles on Wednesday, September 8, 2010. Although California has adopted policies requiring divestment from Sudan, Iran and other nations, this is the first ballot measure in the nation aimed at changing Israeli policies through divestment by State agencies. It directs California’s large public employee and teacher pension funds to be consistent with their responsible investing policies and to divest from companies that violate the human rights of Palestinians. The description provided by the office of the Attorney General when it approved the measure for circulation last week says that the initiative “prohibits state retirement funds from investing in companies engaged in certain business activities in Israel.”



WHEN: NOON, Wednesday, September 8, 2010



WHERE: In front of the Israeli Consulate, 6380 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048



WHY: Launch Ballot Initiative Drive to Require Public Employee Systems to Divest from Certain Business Activities in Israel



WHO: Shakeel Syed, Executive Director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California; Rev. Dr. DarELL T. Weist retired, Senior Minister United Methodist Church of Los Angeles; Yael Korin, Israeli-American researcher; Mahmood Ibrahim, Palestinian-American Professor of History, California State Polytechnic University Pomona; Rosie Martinez, labor activist, Latino Caucus, SEIU 721; and Andy Griggs, retired teacher LAUSD, STRS members, United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) activist.



“Our government has done nothing to end Israel’s brutal occupation and violation of internationally recognized human rights,” said Sacramento resident Chris Yatooma, the founder of Israel Divestiture Forum and the official proponent of the initiative, “including UN Resolutions and the Geneva Conventions."

“Our tax dollars now help fund these violations of human rights to the tune of more than billion a year in grants, adding up to a staggering 6 billion over the past five decades.” said Israeli-born campaign organizer Yael Korin.



“California retirement funds have their own disturbing record,” said local campaign organizer Sherna Gluck, a member of the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS). “Our public retirement systems have more than .5 billion invested in at least eight companies that provide war materials and services used in violation of internationally recognized human rights, including support for the illegal Israeli settlements and the "Separation Wall.”



Public pension funds in Norway and Sweden have already divested from one of the companies identified by the initiative organizers.



Organized by a diverse group of Californians, the initiative has been endorsed by two Nobel Peace Laureates: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, one of the principal leaders of South Africa’s successful struggle to end Apartheid and Mairead Maguire, renowned Belfast peacemaker.



Leading local endorsers include Marcy Winograd, former California congressional candidate; Stanley Sheinbaum, well-known peace advocate and organizer of the historic meeting in which the PLO expressed its willingness to abandon armed struggle and recognize Israel; and Executive Director Hussam Ayloush of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA). Local clergy, labor activists and members of PERS and the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) have also endorsed the initiative. Several key endorsers will be present on Wednesday to become the first signers of the ballot initiative.



For a complete list of the current endorsers, see: www.israeldivestmentcampaign.org/endorsements.htm.



“Because I am a teacher" said Marcy Winograd, former congressional candidate and a STRS participant, "I am particularly concerned that my retirement funds might be used to further colonize Palestinian land or to erase the beautiful olive groves planted by the indigenous residents of the West Bank.”



Californians who do not want their state retirement funds to contribute to the violation of human rights are mobilizing a statewide campaign mirroring the worldwide anti-Apartheid movement that toppled White rule in South Africa. Their work draws moral support from Archbishop Tutu’s August 22nd endorsement message to Californians: “We defeated Apartheid nonviolently because the international community agreed to support the disinvestment in Apartheid campaign. A similar campaign can help to bring peace in the Middle East and do so nonviolently."

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 14 posted about this article.
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TITLE AUTHOR DATE
and that and that Wednesday, Sep. 08, 2010 at 3:11 PM
Global Boycott (BDS) Against Israel Is Working Stephen Lendman Wednesday, Sep. 08, 2010 at 3:56 PM
Oh dear dear me Tuesday, Sep. 14, 2010 at 2:31 AM
speaking for myself noticed something Tuesday, Sep. 14, 2010 at 3:03 AM
Oh dear oh dear oh dear Tuesday, Sep. 14, 2010 at 3:48 AM
another little thing... heh heh Tuesday, Sep. 14, 2010 at 4:18 AM
"720 on the barcode" hahaha Tuesday, Sep. 14, 2010 at 7:29 PM
hey, thanks... I appreciate it! Tuesday, Sep. 14, 2010 at 8:11 PM
more Israeli investments Israeli product list Wednesday, Sep. 15, 2010 at 3:31 AM
Hugo Boss plays both sides HugoBossNaziFashion Friday, Sep. 17, 2010 at 1:40 PM
well. not really... the SS & Zionists Saturday, Sep. 18, 2010 at 1:54 AM
boycott failed the boycott failed Saturday, Sep. 18, 2010 at 4:40 AM
#1 client & no UAW BFD... Saturday, Sep. 18, 2010 at 5:15 AM
The initiative failed Mohamed Talat Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011 at 10:11 PM

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