Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign (MN BBC), a statewide campaign aimed at stopping Minnesota investment in Israel’s human rights and international law violations, has officially filed its lawsuit against the Minnesota State Board of Investment. This filing comes after Governor Dayton rejected the Campaign’s demand that the SBI divest from in Israel Bonds.
The complaint was formally filed yesterday in the Ramsey County District Court in St. Paul, and today was assigned to Judge Margaret M. Marrinan, with case number 62-CV-11-10079.
On November 29, 2011, MN BBC, along with 26 other co-plaintiffs, including Palestinian residents of the besieged village of Bil’in in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Jewish-Israeli members of the Israeli human rights advocacy group Boycott From Within, served a lawsuit against the SBI demanding that it cancel its Israel Bonds investments. The suit was not formally filed in court at that time in order to permit the SBI an opportunity to resolve MN BBC’s divestment demand without the necessity of court action.
The lawsuit claims that the Board’s investments in Israel Bonds are unlawful according to Minnesota and international law because they help fund Israel’s universally condemned illegal settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Following Governor Dayton’s rejection of the divestment demand, the Executive Committee of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), headquartered in New York, advised all four members of the SBI Board, including Governor Dayton, that the Board was aiding and abetting Israel’s violation of international law, which also violates Minnesota law. The NLG correspondence to each of the four Board members, which was delivered to them on December 13, 2011, is posted at the MN BBC website at http://mn.breakthebonds.org/?p=1597.
In deciding to proceed with the lawsuit, the plaintiffs also considered the murder by Israeli soldiers last Friday of Mustafa Tamimi, a Palestinian resident of Nebi Saleh, one of a growing number of West Bank villages besieged by Israeli settlers. Tamimi was shot point-blank in the face with a high velocity tear gas grenade. Israel buys a portion of its military equipment with the aid of Israel Bonds. MN Break the Bonds Campaign believes that Minnesota should not be investing our state’s money in such atrocities.
To read the complete version of the lawsuit, go to: http://mn.breakthebonds.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/MNBBCvSBI.pdf