On March 5, 2012, at 2:30 p.m., at the Ramsey County Courthouse, 15 W. Kellogg Ave., Room 1440, St. Paul, Judge Margaret Marrinan will hear arguments in a lawsuit filed by four public interest organizations and twenty-three individuals led by the Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign (MN BBC) against the State Board of Investment (SBI). The lawsuit aims to stop Minnesota’s investment in Israel’s human rights and international law violations.
MN BBC, along with the 26 other co-plaintiffs, served the lawsuit on the SBI in November. The lawsuit alleges that the Board’s investments in Israel Bonds violate Minnesota laws that restrict the SBI’s investments in government bonds to US and Canadian bonds only and violate the SBI’s fiduciary duty to invest state retirement monies prudently and lawfully. The lawsuit alleges that the SBI is violating its fiduciary obligations by investing millions of dollars in Israel Bonds with the knowledge that the money Israel earns from the sale of its sovereign bonds funds Israel’s universally condemned illegal settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and other human rights violations.
A complete copy of the Complaint and various legal briefs filed in the case can be found here: http://mn.breakthebonds.org/?p=1677. A video of some of the co-plaintiffs telling their stories can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZiLHKWuELc.
The Complaint shines light on the many different faces of Israeli oppression through the stories of the co-plaintiffs. For example, the residents of the Village of Bil’in in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, who have non-violently protested against Israel’s illegal settlement activities, have suffered expropriation of their farmland, military detention, injury and even death. Another co-plaintiff, a local retired nurse who is a beneficiary of an SBI-managed retirement plan, was arrested and deported from Israel to prevent her from participating in a fact-finding delegation. Members of the Jewish-Israeli group Boycott from Within face prosecution under Israeli law for exercising their right of free speech in advocating for a boycott against Israel until Israel complies with International law, similar to the actions that helped end South African apartheid. Several other Minnesotan co-plaintiffs with ties to Palestine have suffered from racist laws and policies in the Israeli legal system.
The court hearing on March 5 is open to the public and media.
Phil Benson: 612-240-4397 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Althlathini: 612-247-7742 Website: http://mn.breakthebonds.org/