TIAA-CREF Divest Mime Troupe
TIAA-CREF Divest Mime Troupe at our National Day of Action in NYC, July 17, 2013

TIAA-CREF Divest

TIAA-CREF is a Fortune 100 financial services company. Adalah-NY and partners have targeted TIAA-CREF in a multifaceted, creative BDS campaign.

About the Campaign

TIAA-CREF Divest

OVERVIEW

TIAA-CREF is a Fortune 100 financial services company and the leading provider of retirement plans to people working in academic, research, medical, and cultural institutions in the United States.

Although TIAA-CREF touts its commitment to socially responsible investing, funds invested with TIAA-CREF actively support Israeli apartheid, violations of international law, and human rights abuses. For example, it invests in Caterpillar, Northrop Grumman, Motorola Solutions, Elbit Systems, and Veolia. These companies provide Israel with the products and services it uses to demolish Palestinian homes, construct and maintain the settlements and wall in the Israeli-occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and kill Palestinian civilians.

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About TIAA-CREF

Background: In 1918, the Carnegie Foundation established Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) to offer a fully funded system of pensions to colleges, universities, and other US nonprofit institutions. In 1952, TIAA created the College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF), the world’s first variable annuity. In the 1970s, TIAA-CREF became one of the first companies to use an extensive portfolio of international stocks as part of its investment strategy.

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The TIAA-CREF Divestment Campaign

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.

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The Companies: About TIAA-CREF Investments

While TIAA-CREF members may have taken comfort in its slogan “Investment for the Greater Good,” funds invested with TIAA-CREF actively support the oppression of the Palestinian people. For example, TIAA-CREF invests in Caterpillar, Northrop Grumman, Motorola Solutions, Elbit Systems, and Veolia Environnement. The products of all of these companies are currently being used to demolish Palestinian homes; entrench Israel’s settlements and separation wall in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem; and kill Palestinian civilians – all in violation of international law.

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Caterpillar Inc.

In a 2004 report, Amnesty International explained: “More than 3,000 homes, hundreds of public buildings and private commercial properties, and vast areas of agricultural land have been destroyed by the Israeli army and security forces in Israel and the Occupied Territories in the past three and a half years. Tens of thousands of men, women and children have been forcibly evicted from their homes and made homeless or have lost their source of livelihood. Thousands of other houses and properties have been damaged, many beyond repair. In addition, tens of thousands of other homes are under threat of demolition, their occupants living in fear of forced eviction and homelessness. [...] Thousands of families have had their homes and possessions destroyed under the blades of the Israeli army’s US-made Caterpillar bulldozers.”

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Elbit Systems Ltd.

Elbit Systems Ltd. is Israel’s largest arms manufacturer and one of the world’s largest defense electronics manufacturers. Elbit designs and supplies integrated UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) for a range of applications. Elbit produces the Hermes 450 drone, aptly described as the “workhorse of the IDF.

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Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman, one of the world’s largest arms manufacturers, profits from the production of parts for the Apache AH64D Longbow Helicopter, including the Longbow Hellfire II missiles, as well as radars for F-16 aircraft. An online Northrop Grumman brochure explains that the Longbow Fire Control Radar and RF Longbow HELLFIRE™ Fire-and-Forget Missile for the Apache are “manufactured by a Joint Venture of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.” Israel used both the Apache AH64D and the Longbow Helicopter against Lebanese civilians in 2006 and again in its attacks on civilians in Gaza in 2008–09. These Northrop Grumman–equipped weapons were sold to Israel between 2000 and 2004.

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Veolia Environnement

According to the Israeli research organization Who Profits, Veolia’s subsidiary Connex “operates regular bus services to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including Beit Horon and Givat Ze'ev along road 443.” Route 443 has frequently been labeled an “apartheid road” because it was built on Palestinian-owned land in the occupied West Bank, but West Bank Palestinians are forbidden from using the road. The Connex/Veolia website shows that four of its bus routes serve Israeli settlements – routes 7, 19, 109, and 110. Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories have been widely condemned as in violation of international law.

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Motorola Solutions

Motorola Solutions 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 by providing communication systems to the Israeli army. Motorola has created at least four such surveillance systems. According to Who Profits, the current settlement surveillance system is called “MotoEagle” and is currently installed in about 25 settlements in the occupied West Bank, including Teko'a, Nokdim, Otniel, Beit Hagai, Eli, Rehelim, Tapu'ach, Mechora, Elon More, and Talmon.

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Latest Posts

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New York, NY, July 9, 2014— As Israel escalated its assault on the Palestinian people, more than 100 human rights activists gathered Monday evening near New York City’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge to mark the 9th anniversary of the July 9, 2005 Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

The protestors spoke out against the current onslaught of Israeli military and settler violence against Palestinians, and vowed to intensify BDS campaigns targeting Israel, with the aim of ending Israeli apartheid and occupation. Since Monday, Israeli bombs have killed 40 Palestinians, including 13 children, in the Gaza Strip alone.

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 17, Oakland, CA – On Tuesday, July 16th at TIAA-CREF offices in over a dozen cities nationwide, human rights advocates protested the retirement giant’s investments in Israeli military occupation, on the same day that TIAA-CREF held its annual shareholders meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The protesters sang, chanted, handed out thousands of flyers, and performed street theater, also signaling their displeasure with TIAA-CREF’s refusal to allow investors to vote to vote on a shareholder resolution, which calls on TIAA-CREF to divest from companies such as Veolia, Caterpillar, and Northrup Grumman which profit from segregated services, home demolitions, militarized violence, and other human rights abuses.