US Investment Firm Tried to Steer Money Away From Israel

Illinois threatens to blacklist major investment research firm if it doesn’t immediately change course on Israel

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: BDS, Antisemitism
The BDS movement is doing all it can to curb investments into Israel's economy. Photo: Yossi Aloni/Flash90

A major US investment research firm is being accused of antisemitism after it tried to steer investment dollars away from Israeli startups and companies.

Morningstar is a multibillion-dollar outfit that helps big investors find and put their money into socially-responsible companies. It does this by screening environmental, social and government behavior in the countries where the target companies operate.

One of Morningstar’s subsidiaries, Sustainalytics, has been actively steering investors away from Israeli companies and startups by inflating Israel’s risk and controversy ratings. This despite Israel’s very high credit and investment ratings with just about every relevant international body.

For the past year, Morningstar rejected all charges of wrongdoing vis-à-vis Israel. But the firm quickly changed its tune when regulators in Illinois, where Morningstar is based, threatened to blacklist it for effectively boycotting Israel.

Illinois is one of many American states to have passed legislation specifically barring any form of boycott against the Jewish state. It is illegal in those states for the state government to invest in any company or corporation, local or otherwise, that acts against Israel. Most notably, state-run pension funds would have to pull all investments from Morningstar were it to be put on the blacklist.

Following this threat, Morningstar announced its own internal investigation into the alleged anti-Israel dealigns of Sustainalytics. The Illinois Investment Policy Board said it is keeping a close eye on those deliberations, and will be looking into the matter for itself, as well.

Speaking of investments, Israel Today has been working together with Israeli investment firms to connect local startups with Israel-loving Christian investors.

If you’d like to learn more, check out this recent article: Invest in Israel – Meet the clean-tech startup Clariter

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