Ohio buys record $61 million in Israel Bonds

(JTA) – The state of Ohio bought a one-day record of $61 million US in Israel Bonds.

The largest single government purchase of Israel Bonds, which took place Monday, makes Ohio the largest holder of Israel Bonds with $165 million US, the Cleveland Jewish News reported.

State Treasurer Josh Mandel told the newspaper that the purchase in part was in response to the boycott, divestment and sanctions, or BDS movement, against Israel.

“First and foremost, we are making this investment because it’s a good investment for the taxpayers of Ohio,” said Mandel, who is Jewish. “Second, we are making this investment in an effort to combat the bigotry of the BDS movement. Third, we are making this investment to stand with the only country in the Middle East that shares American values.”

In December, the Ohio Legislature passed a law prohibiting the state from contracting with companies that engage in boycotts of Israel. The measure also included language that increased from one per cent to two per cent the amount of funds the state treasurer or country treasurers may invest in foreign bonds meeting specified criteria, including Israel Bonds.

Ohio treasurers have been investing in Israel Bonds since 1993, according to the newspaper.

Mandel, who has served as state treasurer since 2011, announced in December that he would run a second time for the Senate.

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