(The Center Square) – The state Treasury Department said it invested $20 million into Israeli bonds amid the country’s ongoing war with Hamas.
Altogether, the 44% increase brings the state’s total ownership to $56 million. Israel invests the money into its economy and pays investors interest twice a year, typically.
A department spokesman told The Center Square the $20 million bond will earn the state an annual interest rate of 5.25% over a three-year period. This “compares favorably” to the yeild on a similar three-year U.S. Treasury note.
“Israel is our greatest ally in the Middle East, and I will always stand with them,” Treasurer Stacy Garrity said in a release. “Israel bonds are a smart, dependable investment with a proven track record – and it’s especially important to show our support at a time when the people of Israel are facing horrific terrorism.”
Pennsylvania joins several other states in upping their investments after Hamas – recognized by the U.S. as a foreign terrorist organization, and ruler since 2007 of the Gaza Strip – invaded Israel on Oct. 7. Hundreds of Israeli women and children remain Hamas captives. According to published reports, the death toll on both sides is high – more than 1,400 in Israel, and 3,785 Palestinians says the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.
Israel’s retaliatory bombings in the Gaza Strip have drawn rebuke for being too harsh. More than 1 million have been displaced amid escalating attacks between the two governments.
Criticism isn’t limited to the war. Advocacy groups have long argued Israel bonds support the country’s military and political special interests, particularly within the U.S. government.
In a press release published by DAWN – an acronym for Democracy for the Arab World Now – earlier this year, Director of Advocacy Adam Shapiro called the investments “a sophisticated operation to enlist American public support for Israel’s political projects while dodging the minimal transparency and scrutiny our laws require.”
“Americans need to know that foreign government agents are lobbying to change U.S. laws and to solicit their political and financial support for Israel’s occupation, apartheid policies and human rights abuses,” Shapiro said.