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Indiana purchases $35M in Israeli bonds. Advocates say it supports the 'genocide of Palestinians'

Protesters hold a sign that says Defund Israel Defend Palestine at Monument Circle.
Lauren Chapman
IPB News
Protesters gathered at Monument Circle in Indianapolis on Nov. 1, 2023, to show support for Palestinians and call on the U.S. to end its support of Israel. Nearly 9,000 people – including 3,600 children – have been killed in Palestine by Israel, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.

Indiana’s chief investment officer purchased $35 million in Israeli bonds Wednesday. Advocates say the purchase supports “the genocide of Palestinians.”

State Treasurer Daniel Elliott said in a statement the bond purchase reflects his confidence in “Israel’s victory” “over the forces of evil.”

At a demonstration in Indianapolis, protesters called for the disinvestment of U.S. dollars from Israel. Malkah Bird, a member of Jewish Voice for Peace Indiana, said the purchase from Indiana is “unconscionable.”

“Any money that we give to Israel is currently supporting genocide of Palestinians,” she said. “It’s supporting violence and weapons that are being used against Palestinian children, against Palestinian families in Gaza.”

Bird said Hoosiers should question why the investment is being spent in Israel instead of tackling issues in Indiana.

“The idea that our money, that taxpayer dollars here in Indiana, are being used to be sent overseas to fuel a genocidal war against a group of civilians who are trapped – they don’t have anywhere to go – is not something that any of us should be supporting,” Bird said.

READ MORE: State, national officials show support for Israel amidst conflict

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Wednesday’s purchase brings the state’s total to $100 million in Israeli bonds. According to the Indiana treasurer of state’s office, it is the largest known purchase by a U.S. state since Oct. 7.

Federally, Congress is currently considering a bill that would send $14 billion in military aid to Israel.

Israel captured Gaza from Egypt in a 1967 war, but withdrew troops and settlers in 2005. Hamas took control of the area in 2007. Both Israel and Egypt have a blockade against the strip, where more than 2 million Palestinians live. Conditions within the strip have deteriorated since the blockade, with high unemployment and poverty rates.

According to the United Nations’ humanitarian agency (OCHA), Israeli settlers have violently attacked Palestinians at least 700 times in 2023 – the highest number on record.

Hamas has said the Oct. 7 attack was in response to these kinds of attacks from Israel and recent actions at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque and in the West Bank.

The Gaza Ministry of Health reports nearly 9,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli attacks and more than 22,000 have been injured. Of those dead, it reports more than 3,600 are children.

Lauren is our digital editor. Contact her at lchapman@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @laurenechapman_.

Lauren is the digital editor for our statewide collaboration, and is based in Indianapolis at WFYI. Since starting for IPB News in 2016, she's covered everything from protests and COVID-19 to esports and policy. She's a proud Ball State University alumna and grew up on the west side of Indianapolis.