TIAA-CREF officials are asking the SEC to allow it to take no action on a shareholder proposal by activist group Jewish Voice for Peace that would require it to consider divesting from companies that contribute to violations of human rights, including companies whose business supports Israel's occupation of the West Bank.Jewish Voice of Peace filed a shareholder proposal with the College Retirement Equities Fund on Feb. 8 that was signed by 200 investors, requesting that shareholders be allowed to vote on the issue at CREF's July annual meeting. The date and location of the meeting have not yet been set.
CREF officials in a March letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission requested that they be allowed to take no action on the proposal, said a company source, who asked for anonymity.
The SEC has not yet responded. In 2011, the SEC responded favorably to a similar request by TIAA-CREF for permission to take no action on an earlier divestment resolution put forward by JV4P. But the "peace"-bots think they have that licked this time.
Sydney Levy, a spokesman for Jewish Voice for Peace, said the shareholder proposal was rewritten this year not to require divesture of a specific company.
Really? See the text of the proposal here.
Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of the Israel Law Center said in an interview that the Jewish Voice for Peace resolution was "anti-Semitic" and "anti-Israel."
Ms. Darshan-Leitner said her organization would sue TIAA-CREF if the shareholder proposal was enacted to ensure the enforcement of state and federal anti-discrimination and anti-boycott laws and to ensure that Israeli companies and businesses are not harmed.
I'm not sure how helpful this approach is, given that it appears TIAA-CREF is and has been making every effort to stop these offensive attempts to subvert their shareholder meetings to the nefarious purposes of the BDS crowd. But their overall message is an important and effective one.