(The Center Square) – On Friday, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced that Texas has purchased $20 million in Israel bonds. It was another of several actions taken this week to show support for Israel after it was attacked by the Islamic terrorist organization Hamas.
“Texas has long had a deep spiritual, political and economic connection to Israel and the Israeli people,” Comptroller Hegar said. “They are our friend and ally, and Texas supports their right to defend their people against these cowardly terrorists. We will stand with them, and we will provide them with the financial liquidity needed to respond to the atrocities we’ve all witnessed.”
The bonds Texas purchased are fixed-rate with an interest of 5.74% and mature in five years. Purchasing them is expected to provide additional liquidity to Israel, the comptroller said.
However, Texas investing in Israel bonds is not new. Texas has purchased bonds from the Jewish nation every year since 1994. After this purchase, Texas will hold nearly $100 million in Israel bonds.
Israel first sold bonds in 1951 and has since maintained “an impeccable record of interest and principal payments,” Hegar said.
“The state of Israel is a solid investment,” he continued. “For nearly 30 years, Israel bonds have been a key component of our investment portfolio at the state’s treasury, providing a reliable return for the people of Texas. As a Texas taxpayer, I am proud to support our ally, and as your Comptroller, I am confident this is a prudent financial decision for the state of Texas.”
Since Hegar took office in 2014, Texas has purchased $140 million in Israel bonds.
The announcement came after Hegar reminded businesses about Texas’ Israel boycott list.
According to state law “boycotting Israel” is defined as “refusing to deal with, terminating business activities with or otherwise taking any action that is intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on or limit commercial relations specifically with Israel or with a person or entity doing business in Israel or in an Israeli-controlled territory … .”
State governmental entities subject to the investment prohibitions and divestment requirements include: Employees Retirement System of Texas, Teacher Retirement System of Texas, Texas Municipal Retirement System, Texas County and District Retirement System, Texas Emergency Services Retirement System and the Permanent School Fund.
There are currently 11 companies state entities are prohibited from investing in, according to the comptroller’s office.
The bond purchase also comes after Gov. Abbott enhanced security effort statewide for Jewish organizations. The governor met with Jewish leaders earlier this week and said he “firmly denounces the act of war against Israeli citizens and Americans in Israel and support Israel’s right to defend itself from these barbaric attacks.
“Working with local partners across Texas, we are actively increasing security at Jewish and Israel-related locations such as synagogues and schools. In response to these cowardly attacks, we stand united with our Jewish neighbors and we repudiate terrorism and anti-Semitism.”