During the chaos of the war between Israel and Hamas, the State of Texas bought bonds from Israel to give the country cash. Last week, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said that the state would buy $20 million in Israeli bonds. These bonds will give “liquidity to Israel as it defends itself against Hamas.”
“Texas has had a deep spiritual, political, and economic link to Israel and the Israeli people for a long time,” Hegar said. “They are our ally and friend, and Texas backs their right to protect their people from these cowardly terrorists.” We are standing with them and will give them the money they need to react to the horrible things we have all seen. Since 1994, Texas has bought Israeli bonds every year, and since Hegar took office in 2015, the state has bought $140 million worth of Israeli bonds.
House Bill 89, which was passed by the Texas Legislature in 2017, says that the state can’t do business with or invest in companies that won’t do business in Israel or land controlled by Israel. Before the news, Hegar also sent out a message reminding people of the Texas list of companies that don’t do business with Israel.
“Texas Government Code Chapter 808 says that to “boycott Israel,” someone or something must “refuse to deal with, end business activities with, or do anything else that is meant to punish, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations specifically with Israel or with a person or entity doing business in Israel or in an Israeli-controlled territory.”
The following companies are on the “Boycott Israel” list:
- ASN Bank NV
- Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc.
- Betsah Invest SA
- Cactus SA
- Co-Operative Group Limited
- DNB Bank ASA
- Guloguz Dis Deposu Ticaret Ve Pazarlama LTD
- Karsten Farms
- KLP Kapitalforvaltning AS
- Kommunal Landspensjonskasse Gjensidig Forsikringsselskap
- Unilever PLC
Both Unilever and Ben and Jerry’s were added after the comptroller “carefully reviewed statements and activities” by both of them. Ben and Jerry’s says it has a “progressive, nonpartisan social mission,” and it said in 2021 that it would stop selling its goods in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”
These are the “scrutinized companies” that the office of the Comptroller keeps track of. They have ties to Sudan, Iran, and “foreign terrorist organizations.” Since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, many Texas politicians, both at the state and federal levels, have made it clear that they stand with Israel. “Unwavering support for Israel” was promised by Gov. Greg Abbott, who also promised $4 million to help make Texas Jewish schools, synagogues, and groups safer.
“These heinous acts of violence and inhumanity against Israel and its people by ruthless terrorists are condemned by the state of Texas,” Abbott said. “We stand ready to offer our full support to the Israeli and Jewish communities.”
This weekend, there was a lot of attention at the Texas Capitol because of protests with both pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli protesters. Protests by both groups were peaceful. This happened just days after the former head of Hamas, which the US considers a terrorist organization, called for pro-Palestinian rallies in the Muslim world, saying, “We must go to the squares and streets of the Arab and Islamic world on Friday.” “All of you who teach and learn about jihad—now is the time to put your theories into practice.”