In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 17, 2004 / 30 Menachem-Av, 5764


By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr

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http://www.jewishworldreview.com | Ever wonder what you could do to help win the war on terror? Are you sick and tired of waiting passively for the next devastating attack — perhaps against people you love and your community, or those of other Americans?

What if you could make a difference, possibly even diminish our enemies' ability to conduct such attacks? Would you be willing to try?

If your answer to these questions is "yes," the Center for Security Policy has good news for you. A Center report released last week, entitled Terrorism Investments of the 50 States (available by clicking HERE ), suggests that virtually every one of us can contribute to victory in this war. It turns out that the Nation's leading public pension funds are heavily invested in some 400 publicly traded companies that do business with terrorist-sponsoring regimes — providing them with lifeblood in the form of vital resources, high technology and cash. Cutting off such business could hurt the bad guys in material ways.

In fact, according to the Center's analysis, the top 100 U.S. public pensions appear to hold in portfolio stock of such companies worth roughly $200 billion. This investment helps the companies — the vast majority of whom are foreign-owned and operated (although about 30 are offshore subsidiaries of U.S. enterprises) — to do upwards of $73 billion worth of projects in states like Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan and North Korea.

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Could these countries' governments continue to provide safe haven, arms, training, intelligence and financial assistance to terrorist organizations, absent the wherewithal and moral cover provided by their Western business partners? Hard to say for certain. We do know, however, two things:

1) Twenty years ago, a U.S.-led campaign of shareholder activism denied South Africa's apartheid regime the West's corporate life-support upon which its economy heavily depended. When public pension funds, college and university endowments and other institutional and private investors divested companies that did business in South Africa, change occurred there — resulting first in the dismantling of officially sanctioned racist policies and then in the fall of the government, itself. And,

2) Until now, the Iranian and other rogue state regimes have not had to choose between supporting terror and garnering billions from Western companies and their investors. All other things being equal, they can expect to continue to benefit from the latter, even as the proceeds help them enable murderous terror and other threats against this country.

It seems, therefore, that the time is ripe to apply to the terror-enablers the divestment campaign techniques that proved so effective in South Africa — and, for that matter, with respect to bringing about change on such issues as corporate governance and accountability and companies' policies towards tobacco, environmental issues and so-called "sin" stocks.

It would be a positive start if every American investor were simply to demand that their fund managers provide information about which companies held in portfolio do business in nations that the U.S. State Department has designated as state-sponsors of terror. Unfortunately, if past experience is any guide, unless there is a concerted demand for such information, it is unlikely to be forthcoming.

If, on the other hand, American investors refuse to take "no" for an answer — which is what New York firefighters and police did when they discovered their pensions held stocks of companies doing business with terrorist-sponsoring states — they can get results. Once equipped with an understanding of who such companies are, the investors can take action, perhaps through shareholder resolutions (the approach favored by the champion of New York City's firemen and women and their police counterparts, Comptroller William Thompson) or via divestiture.

To be clear, the reason for taking such steps is not because the companies in question are doing anything illegal. Rather, it's because what they are doing is wrong. Senator Frank Lautenberg (Democrat of New Jersey), one of the leaders in congressional efforts to halt U.S. and Western business dealings with terrorist-sponsors, goes even further. In a recent letter to the 50 states' governors and public pension fund managers, he called such activities "unconscionable."

Whether from a moral perspective aiding those who aid our enemies is unconscionable or simply wrong, there can be no doubt that it is foolish strategically. As it happens, moreover, holding stocks in those companies who underwrite the nations that underwrite the terrorists is also a bad risk for investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission has warned several times about the material nature of this "Global Security Risk" and even created an office to monitor it.

In short, American investors have plenty of reasons to divest terror. Now that they know doing so can help win the war on terror, who will fail to take this step?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. heads the Center for Security Policy. Send your comments to him by clicking here.

© 2004, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.