On the ballots in Seattle is a tricky little bill called Initiative 97 by a group called “Seattle Divest from War and Occupation.” The initiative calls for Seattle to divest and would impose guidelines on how the city invests employee retirement funds, mandating that funds cannot be invested in companies “profiting” directly from our occupation of Iraq — and here is the rub — Israel’s “occupation” of Palestinian territory.
According to Robert Jacobs, Northwest Regional Director of StandWithUs:
With respect to I-97, it’s an initiative that proposes to divest from companies investing in Iraq – but MOST of the initiative would use the City of Seattle and Seattle City Light’s retirees’ pension funds to make an anti-Israel political statement. I-97, the “Divest from War” initiative, would have Seattle divest from companies selling products to the Israeli government. Companies such as Microsoft, Boeing, PACCAR, even Coke. Neither the title of the initiative nor the pitch from the signature gatherers tell you this.
Seattle is not a town known for hard-core pro Israel activity, but this initiative might just change that. It is not just the chance that this thing will pass that has Jews in Seattle worried, it is that it further erodes support for Israel in the city that ran Rachel Corrie Diaries for over a month to great reviews and crowds.