I thought that as an investor in a company with democratic values and systems–such as shareholder resolutions–my voice would be included when I have a concern to raise about what my money is funding. I expected this even more from a financial institution that claims to offer “financial services for the greater good.” I have learned that this is not so with TIAA-CREF, the retirement fund giant which invests money in companies such as Caterpillar, Veolia, and Elbit, that operate in the West Bank and East Jerusalem demolishing homes, confiscating land, and contributing to settlement expansion.
CREF has chosen to refuse to share with its own investors a shareholder proposal submitted by nearly 20 of their participants–including me–calling upon CREF to engage with corporations in its portfolios that profit from the Israeli Occupation, and to consider divesting if that engagement does not bear fruit.
I just called them to tell them how frustrated I am by their censoring me and my fellow investors. Will you call them too? Let them know that you condemn both the funding of retirement benefits in part by the profits of Occupation and the censorship of investors who share your views.
I am a Jewish-American physician who has been to Israel and Palestine many times. I have seen firsthand how these policies restrict Palestinian movement and affect all aspects of access to health care: getting to ambulances, to clinics, to medications. My very own retirement funds are contributing to sustain this injustice.
Onward to justice,
P.S. After you have called in, please help spread the word and keep the pressure on TIAA-CREF by logging onto Facebook and post this as your status: “just told @tiaa-cref they can’t silence Occupation” or log onto Twitter and tweet “just told @tc_talks they can’t silence Occupation #tiaa-cref #wedivest_callday”. You can also change your Facebook profile picture to the “Why is TIAA-CREF censoring you?” image above!
Also, check out my book, Broken Promises, Broken Dreams: Stories of Jewish and Palestinian Trauma and Resilience (http://alicerothchild.com/)
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