New York, NY, September 11, 2009 – TIAA-CREF confirmed in statements to the media today that it divested from Africa-Israel earlier this year. The statements responded to a letter initiated by Adalah-NY and signed by TIAA-CREF clients calling on TIAA-CREF to divest from Africa-Israel, owned by Lev Leviev. A TIAA-CREF spokesperson told The Chronicle of Higher Education that TIAA-CREF “no longer owns shares in Africa-Israel Investments Ltd.”
A recently published TIAA-CREF report also confirms that TIAA-CREF no longer holds Africa-Israel shares. This new report, dated June 30, 2009, was posted on the TIAA-CREF website sometime in the last 10 days while the letter to TIAA-CREF was being circulated for signatures. The previous report dated March 31, 2009 showed that TIAA-CREF had owned $257,000 in Africa-Israel Investments stock. Adalah-NY did not recognize that this new report came online in the last days.
Adalah-NY takes full responsibility for providing out-of-date information to those who signed the letter, who recruited colleagues to sign, and who spoke with media about the letter.
Despite the recent divestment from Africa-Israel, the new June 30th TIAA-CREF report indicates that the fund continues to invest clients’ money in a number of companies supporting Israeli settlement activity including Israel Discount Bank, Cellcom Israel, Bezeq Israeli Telecommunications Corp, Bank Leumi, and Motorola, among others.
Lev Leviev’s companies have been the target of a boycott and divestment campaign since November 2007 in reaction to their settlement construction and their involvement in human rights abuses in the diamond industry in Angola and Namibia. Africa-Israel is currently in the throes of a financial crisis.