Aument Votes to Support Israel

Measure would prohibit divestment from Israel, penalize institutions that boycott Pennsylvania’s ally.

HARRISBURG – The Senate of Pennsylvania approved legislation with strong bipartisan support that would prohibit the PA Treasury’s Office, the State Employees’ Retirement System, the Public School Employees’ Retirement System, and the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System from boycotting or divesting from Israel, according to Sen. Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster), who supported the bill. The measure, which passed by a vote of 41-7, would also cut off state tax dollars from going to higher education institutions that boycott or divest from Israel.

Senate Bill 1260 sends a loud message that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania stands with its top ally in the Middle East – Israel. On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas terrorists waged the deadliest attack on Jews since the Holocaust, with the murder of more than 1,000 innocent Israelis. In this brutal attack, terrorists slaughtered babies, raped women, burned whole families alive, and took innocent civilians – including children – hostage. One hundred and thirty-two hostages are still held captive today.

In the days and months that followed this vicious attack, U.S. college campuses were taken over by pro-Palestinian (and in some cases, pro-Hamas) protesters. Many of these protests were blatantly antisemitic and included calls for the complete destruction and elimination of Israel. Jewish students were required to shelter in place in their dorm rooms out of fear for their lives. Unfortunately, protesters were successful in getting some colleges to consider divesting from Israel, as well as companies that do business with the Israeli government.

“Hamas is a terrorist organization that, when faced with a legitimate response to its attacks on Israel, hides behind its own innocent people and uses them as human shields. Israel has every right to not only defend itself from the repeated attacks from Hamas, but to eliminate this threat for the betterment of Jews and Palestinians alike,” said Aument. “Israel is the only democratic state in the Middle East and has long been a strong ally of the United States, especially after our country suffered its own terror attacks on September 11, 2001. Any attempt to financially hamstring Israel is misguided and demonstrates a lack of understanding of the complexity of Middle East relations and conflicts.”

In the wake of the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks, Pennsylvania’s Treasurer Stacy Garrity, who supports the legislation, invested an additional $20 million in Israel bonds, bringing the Treasury’s total investment in Israel to more than $56 million.

“The strong bipartisan vote today signifies not only our steadfast loyalty to Israel and our firm condemnation of Hamas and their atrocities, but also our unwavering support of Jewish Americans who have suffered innumerable and cruel acts of antisemitism since the attacks last October. Let me be clear – antisemitism has absolutely no place in the great state of Pennsylvania.”

The measure heads to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

CONTACT: Stephanie Applegate

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