Since its inception, practically every major success claimed by the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement has turned out to be either an outright lie or a massive exaggeration. The AJC’s Ben Cohen fact-checks the campaign’s most recent “victory” — its announcement that the largest pension fund in the Netherlands recently divested from Israeli companies — and finds this to be yet another hoax.
While the Dutch pension fund PGGM has reportedly withdrawn its investment from many of the Israeli companies in its portfolio, Cohen discovered that this was due to Israel’s recent admission to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development — and has absolutely nothing to do with any type of anti-Israel political movement:
I contacted the fund’s managers, the Dutch company PGGM, and they confirmed my suspicions. Back in May, Israel’s economic vibrancy secured its admission into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD,) which gathers together the world’s developed countries. As a result, funds focused upon emerging markets were obliged to withdraw their investments from Israeli companies, who’d moved to the different benchmark for developed markets. Bottom line: this had absolutely nothing to do with politically-motivated divestment.
This is reminiscent of the now-debunked claim that Harvard had divested from Israel over the summer. As the administration pointed out at the time, Israel had merely been re-classified as a “developed” market due to its economic growth. “Our emerging markets holdings were rebalanced accordingly,” said the school.
Other BDS movement “successes” that have been disproved over the past few years include Hampshire College’s alleged divestment in 2009 (which the school administration quickly refuted) and assertions that Motorola had joined the divestment movement.
In fact, the BDS campaign’s only actual victories seem to be getting B-list musicians to cancel concerts in Israel (which, in some cases, have arguably been more of a win for Israel).