CT Govt Owns $16 Million in Israel's Bonds, $21 Million in Securities

We have UNDERESTIMATED the extent in which the state of CT invests in Israel. We had thought it owned $4 million in State of Israel Bonds. We inquired and the office of the Treasury in CT gave us the answer printed below. We're a little unclear about the bonds. It may be that the states owns $3 million in State of Israel Bonds and $13 million in bonds of other Israeli entities.

Received Aug. 1, 2014

Dear Mr. Heller,

On behalf of State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier and the Office of the Connecticut Treasurer, I am writing in response to your e-mail of July 28, 2014 concerning the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds’ (CRPTF) holdings of bonds issued by the State of Israel, as well as its investments in Israeli companies.

The CRPTF continues to hold Israeli bonds in its portfolio, and has some limited equity exposure to companies doing business in Israel. As of July 29, 2014, the total exposure to Israel – which includes both stocks and bonds -- is approximately $37 million. This represents a de minimis exposure of roughly .13% of the State’s $29.2 billion pension funds.

Of the $37 million, approximately $21 million is held in Israeli securities within our developed international stock fund. The remaining $16 million reflects the value of our holdings in diversified Israeli bonds -- and includes $3.0 million of Israel State Aid debentures which are backed by the U.S. Government. The majority of these bonds are slated to mature by 2016.

As principal fiduciary of the CRPTF, Treasurer Nappier is keenly aware of the role that pension funds can and should play on important issues related to human rights and world peace. She is likewise cognizant of the primary role of the U.S. government in the matter of international relations; and in this case, no federal law or policy identifies Israel as a human rights violator.

We are, however, gravely concerned about the ongoing loss of lives in Israel and Gaza, and join many in our nation in hoping for meaningful and sustainable peace. With that said, please be assured that the Treasurer and her staff will continue to monitor developments in the area that may have implications for our State’s investments.

Thank you for sharing with us your views on this important issue.

Sincerely,

Christine Shaw

Analysis

1. $37 million is far more "exposure" than we thought.

2. A key sentence "... no federal law or policy identifies Israel as a human rights violator." So CT follows the Federal government despite what it sees in front of its face.

3. The email we received after the one above was from MECA, Middle East Children's Alliance. Their Director of Gaza Projecs, Dr. Mona El-Farrah,was told today that 9 of her family members were killed by IDF bombing.

Please send an email to Treasurer Denise Nappier and call for CT to break its ties with Israel!! Her email is: state.treasurer@ct.gov