Proposed measure calls for state divestment in Israel

February 1, 2010 | 11:15 am

A group calling itself the Israel Divestiture Forum has filed an initiative with the attorney general that would require state pension funds to sever ties with Israeli companies or the Israeli government.

The measure was submitted by Sacramento resident Chris Yatooma, who works as the head of fiscal policy for the California Community Colleges chancellor”s office.

“It is the intent of this act to employ the same divestiture and boycott approach used to help bring down the Apartheid Government in South Africa,” the measure states.

Dozens of ballot measures are filed with the attorney general”s office every year, with only a select few actually reaching a ballot. Measures that would require public schools to allow Christmas music, mandatory drug testing for legislators and a measure that would define a fertilized human egg as a person have all been submitted to the attorney general.

The measure would need almost 434,000 valid signatures from registered California voters to qualify for the November ballot.

Under the proposal, divestment guidelines would be reversed if Israel pulls out of the territories seized during the 1967 war, or the Israeli and Palestinian governments “conclude a peace treaty that leads to the establishment of a Palestinian state that is recognized by the United States Government.”

— Anthony York in Sacramento

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