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Amid protests, Indiana ups investment in Israel

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(The Center Square) – Indiana, a state that already had a large investment in bonds from Israel, added to its portfolio when State Treasurer Daniel Elliott approved spending $5 million more on bonds from one of America’s top allies.

That authorization comes as protests against the Middle Eastern nation are on the rise at college campuses across the country. Indiana University is among those institutions seeing demonstrators call for its leaders to divest from Israel, which they accuse of causing genocide in Gaza.

Israel began attacking the Gaza Strip six months ago after terrorists supported by Hamas killed more than 1,100 Israelis and abducted others in an invasion Oct. 7.

In a statement, Elliott said the $5 million investment is “a reflection of my confidence” in Israel.

“Despite the hardships currently faced by the nation of Israel and their citizens, the economy and will of the Israeli people remains unbroken,” he said.

Elliott added he would not be swayed by those opposing Israel, including those at college campuses. Thursday marked the eighth day of demonstrations at IU in Bloomington, where dozens have been arrested.

“While there may be a few loud individuals on college campuses and other places that want us to abandon Israel, I believe now is the time to refocus and recommit to our most important ally,” he said. “We don’t need to boycott and divest but engage and invest.”

Indiana bought three-year notes with interest fixed at 5.5%, which is .65% higher than the performance of U.S. Treasury bonds.

In all, the state has invested $110 million in Israeli bonds. Indiana has the fifth-largest share of bonds among the states.

Despite the protests, U.S. states have been increasing their investments in Israel over the last six months. Bond Buyer noted that more than 35 states have spent nearly $1.7 billion on bonds in that time frame.

The commitments have come from a mix of red and blue states, including Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

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