In 2009, Adalah-NY discovered that TIAA-CREF was invested in Africa Israel, whose owner, Lev Leviev, was the target of an existing Adalah-NY boycott campaign. While TIAA-CREF divested soon thereafter from Africa Israel, it maintained its investment in many other companies supporting Israeli apartheid.
Using Adalah-NY’s initial research, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) began planning a national campaign to persuade TIAA-CREF to divest from many of these companies. In June 2010, JVP launched the campaign with a petition drive, which is ongoing. In July 2010, the campaign was endorsed by the US Campaign to End the Occupation coalition.
In October 2010, the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) issued a statement supporting this campaign which reads in part: “We urge all groups working on boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns in the US, especially on university campuses, to endorse this campaign and join it, whenever possible, to amplify its reach and impact across the US.”
The US Palestinian Community Network, Grassroots International, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), and numerous Student for Justice in Palestine groups around the country joined the growing national campaign. In 2011, after working with JVP on campaign development throughout 2010, Adalah-NY formally adopted the campaign as a focus of our BDS work.
As an international endorser of the 2005 Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS, Adalah-NY has joined the three sectors of Palestinian civil society – Palestinians living under occupation, Palestinians living in Israel, and Palestinians living as refugees in the diaspora – in demanding that Israel:
- End its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantle the wall;
- Recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
- Respect, protect, and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
We call on TIAA-CREF to respect these demands and divest from companies supporting and profiting from Israeli apartheid, violations of international law, and human rights abuses.