So-called “IRAN DIVESTMENT” passed in the final days of Massachusetts state legislature and has been signed by Governor Patrick. We opposed this measure not out of support for the Iranian government, but because it was one local aspect of a national (and international) campaign to raise tensions with Iran and promote a new military confrontation. Israel’s interests are at the center of this campaign.
In theory, an investment policy that promotes the values of peace and human rights is desirable. But, despite the protestations of its supporters, that is not what the Iran Divestment bill is about. Although Iran’s record is far from perfect, there are worse human rights abusers who are US allies and which have threatened to attack or actually attacked their neighbors, as Iran has not. Israel, unlike Iran, is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and is believed to have as many as 200 nuclear weapons -- but receives upwards of $3 billion in annual US aid.
Significantly, the Iran Divestment measure received little or no publicity in the local mainstream media but was reported in a Jerusalem Post article applauding candidate for State Treasurer -- and AIPAC leader -- Steve Grossman. Governor Patrick’s press release on signing the bill quotes praise from the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Combined Jewish Philanthropies – who, among other Israel Lobby organizations were the main promoters of this legislation.