Citizens Sue Minnesota State Board of Investment for Illegal Investments in Israel Bonds
The Minneapolis Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign (MN BBC), a statewide campaign aimed at stopping Minnesota investment in Israel’s human rights and international law violations, has joined with several individuals and organizations in serving a lawsuit on the Minnesota State Board of Investment (SBI) to demand that the Board divest from its purchase of sovereign Israel Bonds.
The lawsuit asserts that investment in Israel Bonds by the SBI is both unlawful and imprudent, and further contends that such investment violates the Minnesota statutes that control the types of foreign investments that the SBI is permitted to make. Foreign government bonds, which include Israeli bonds, are not included in the SBI’s list of authorized investments. The only exception is for Canadian Bonds.
Justification for the lawsuit is the further claim that investment in Israel Bonds by the SBI is unlawful because the SBI knowingly aided and abetted Israel’s blatant defiance of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. By financing Israel’s illegal settlement activities, including the prohibited transfer of Israeli’s civilian population to the occupied Palestinian territories in full recognition of the internationally recognized violation, makes SBI liable under International Law by affirming complicity with agencies that financially provide aid to those engaged in violation of International Law.
Finally, the lawsuit argues that the SBI is in breach of its fiduciary obligations by exposing Minnesota taxpayers to liability imposed by victims of Israel’s human rights abuses and the international law violations because of its material support of unlawful activities practiced by Israel.
MN BBC is a group comprised of Palestinians, Jews, Christians, Muslims, students, professionals, parents, community members and supporters who are working to educate Minnesota communities about injustices and the ongoing suffering of Palestinians. Their aim is to promote justice and human rights. The principle of MN BBC members contends that the people of Minnesota have the moral obligation to make sound investments that do not aid the oppression of anyone because of race, faith or ethnicity.
Members of MN BBC will serve the lawsuit on November 29, 2011 at the Attorney General’s office at 1400 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul. Media are welcome to interview MN BBC members and co-plaintiffs following issuing of the complaint. Copies of the lawsuit will be available to the press.