By Bethany Blankley, The Center Square

A coalition of Republican attorneys general has launched an investigation into MSCI, a New York-based investment company managing roughly more than $5 billion in assets, after allegations surfaced of its boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) policies against Israel.

The coalition, led by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, gave MSCI chairman and CEO Henry Fernandez until April 18 to respond.

They contacted Fernandez after the Jewish News Syndicate reported that MSCI’s ESG policies appear to downgrade dozens of companies “that it said committed ‘human rights violations’ simply for conducting business in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.”

JNS reported that it found “that MSCI has tagged nine companies that generated ESG controversy ratings at Morningstar for doing business in Judea and Samaria with its own such ratings” and contacted Florida officials.

In a letter to Fernandez, the AGs express “great concern” over the report saying, “the states we represent unequivocally support Israel’s right to exist and oppose the BDS movement.”

The coalition represents the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

“While the BDS movement ‘markets itself as a nonviolent movement’ designed to pressure Israel to ‘withdraw to its pre-1967 borders,’ its leadership in reality ‘seeks nothing less than the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state,’” they said. “According to a cofounder of the BDS movement, it is ‘but the first stage on the road to fulfilling the vision of the dismantling of Israel.’ The movement often focuses on pressuring large investment portfolios – such as those run by municipality or university – to divest from companies that ‘aid Israel’s occupation.’”

They also said the BDS movement has two goals: “to economically cripple Israel and create a false narrative of Israel’s occupation and colonization.”


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