The Providence City Council introduces an ordinance to halt investments in Israel

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – The Providence City Council on Thursday heard an ordinance that would divest city funds from Israeli government bonds and prevent future investments in governments accused of war crimes and human rights abuses.

The ordinance was introduced by Council President Rachel Miller, Council Member Justin Roias and Council Member Miguel Sanchez, who cited the council’s 2006 decision to divest from companies that did business in Sudan following the genocide in Darfur.

The proposal would prevent urban assets from being invested or reinvested in bonds of governments that maintain a long-term military occupation and that have been the subject of United Nations Security Council resolutions and/or International Court of Justice rulings.

The city treasurer would also have to review any investments that would violate the ordinance.

“Our investments are a reflection of our values,” Sánchez said. “Upholding the values ​​of peace, freedom and justice means not contributing to a war that has cost the lives of 15,000 children.”

Jewish Voice for Peace Rhode Island expressed support for the ordinance, saying the bonds “go directly to the Israeli treasury, providing unrestricted funding for general operating funds for the Israeli military and government.”

“As conscientious Jews, we do not believe that our city should lend public funds to the Israeli military and government, without guardrails or restrictions, to ensure that our community does not inadvertently support violations of international law and violence against Palestinians,” says JVP. said member Johanna Vollhardt.

Meanwhile, the Rhode Island Coalition for Israel has heavily criticized the ordinance, saying it is “anti-Semitic” and “fiscally reckless.”

“This proposed regulation is clearly the work of the ‘Jewish’ Voice for Peace, which is neither Jewish nor pro-peace, but is in fact a tool of progressive foundations and wealthy individuals with a common interest in eliminating Israel as the Jewish State.” , the organization said. in an edition. “The Providence City Council is just a pawn in their high-stakes international chess game.”

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