After 10 years of abject failure, the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement, like the Energizer bunny, keeps going and going and going...
Chris Yatooma has recently introduced a ballot initiative to force California's state pension funds to divest from companies doing business in Israel. 433,971 signatures are needed by mid-July to put the proposed law on the November election ballot.
The initiative was submitted under the name of the "Israel Divestiture Forum," (IDF). According to an interview in the San Francisco Examiner , Yatooma claims "that's just me having some fun". No, Mr. Yatooma, it's fraud. The same way Paul Larudee of the International Solidarity Movement naming his latest anti-Israel venture the "Association for Investment in Popular Action Committees" ( AIPAC ) is fraud, meant to deliberately deceive. It’s the same tactics we've seen over and over again, as the anti-Israel forces attempt to push their agenda on a disinterested public. In the absence of facts and history, fraud and outright forgery have become the well-oiled tools in the anti-Israel tool chest.
According to Mr. Yatooma, "Public retirement systems in this state currently invest on behalf of the citizens of California in publicly traded foreign companies that may be at risk due to business ties with foreign states such as Israel." Clearly Mr. Yatooma has not read "Start up Nation" . Israel has more companies on the tech-oriented NASDAQ than any country outside the United States - more than all of Europe, Japan, Korea, India, and China combined. Israel also attracts more of the global pool of venture capital investments per capita than any other country, with $2 billion in foreign venture capital invested in 2008. For the last five years the Israeli economy has substantially outstripped the average GDP growth rate of developed countries. Today Israel has the highest density of startups in the world.
Yatooma's initiative is chock full of typos, misstatements and downright lies. His agenda is clear, however- by declaring "territory occupied by Israel since 1949" he denies the right of Israel to exist, within any borders.
Over the years the California initiative process has been hijacked by special interest groups pushing their agenda, and this year is no different. An initiative costs $200 to file, but can cost nearly $2 million to qualify for the ballot. The question is not whether Yatooma find 433,971 people to hate on Israel, but whether he can do it without resorting to fraud, forgery and lies. Given the history of the BDS movement, the odds aren't good.