ACTION ALERT: Ask Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association to Halt Investments that Support Violations of US, International Law

November 19th, 2010 - by admin

Jewish Voice for Peace – 2010-11-19 00:32:27

Take action and Spread the word: Divest from the Israeli Occupation
Jewish Voice for Peace

(November 17, 2010) — On December 10th, Human Rights Day, as part of our ongoing TIAA-CREF campaign, groups around the country will be participating in actions to highlight Catepillar’s complicity in Israel’s violations of US and International law, and the inappropriateness of TIAA CREF — whose tag line is “finance for the greater good” — investing in them. Details to come.

We’ve gathered over 17,000 signatures in favor of divestment from companies that are profiting from the Israeli occupation. Now help us get more. (If you have not signed our petition yet, please go here.)

If you have already signed (thanks!), use the form below to ask your friends to sign as well! TIAA CREF participants are people you know: public school teachers, doctors, nurses, researchers, artists and non-profit workers. Your friends, your relatives, and your colleagues may have TIAA CREF. But even if they don’t, ask them to sign our petition.

We encourage TIAA-CREF participants and those in solidarity to endorse this petition. If you are a TIAA-CREF participant, please fill in the checkbox above the Sign Petition button.

Full Text
We are participants and investors in TIAA-CREF funds who are deeply concerned that TIAA-CREF invests in many companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Some of these companies provide weapons and covert surveillance supplies that maintain the occupation by force. Others take or exploit Palestinian resources, including scarce water and even the land itself. All are profiting from Israel’s violations of international law and international human rights standards.

Some Examples:
• CATERPILLAR profits from the destruction of Palestinian homes and the uprooting of Palestinian orchards by supplying the armor-plated and weaponized bulldozers that are used for such demolition work.

• VEOLIA profits from the construction and expansion of illegal Jewish-only settlements by operating a landfill in the West Bank, exploiting Palestinian natural resources to serve the settlements, and by contracting for the future operation of an illegal light rail system connecting these settlements with Jerusalem.

• NORTHROP GRUMMAN profits from the production of parts for the Apache helicopters and F-16 aircrafts used by Israel against civilians in Gaza during Israel’s 2008-09 assault.

• ELBIT profits from the confiscation of Palestinian land by providing surveillance equipment that is mounted on the Separation Wall, which was declared unlawful by the International Court of Justice.

• MOTOROLA profits from Israel’s control of the Palestinian population by providing surveillance systems around Israeli settlements, checkpoints, and military camps in the West Bank, as well as communication systems to the Israeli army and West Bank settlers.

While the specific companies held change over time, TIAA-CREF’s investment criteria do not screen out such investments, which are incompatible with our values and with corporate social responsibility.

Out of commitment to equality, freedom and international law, we therefore urgently request that:

TIAA-CREF divest from companies that:

• Directly profit from or contribute to the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

• Provide products or services that contribute to the construction and maintenance of Israeli settlements and/or the Separation Wall, both of which are illegal under international law.

• Provide products or services that contribute to or enable violent acts that target civilians.

• TIAA-CREF establish investment criteria to exclude any such companies in the future.

For almost 100 years, TIAA-CREF has striven to provide financial services for the greater good, helping those of us in the academic, medical, cultural, and research fields to plan for and live in retirement. Please help us invest the fruit of our labor and enjoy our retirement in good conscience.