Ohio county drops bid to divest from Israel bonds after warning from state AG

Ohio’s Cuyahoga County will no longer consider a resolution seeking to divest from its ownership of $16 million worth of State of Israel Bonds, after the state’s attorney general warned the move could violate Ohio law.

Council Vice President Cheryl Stephens and Councilman Patrick Kelly say they are withdrawing their resolution, which had touched off an impassioned debate within the council and the larger Cleveland metro area, according to Cleveland.com.

However, the pair are continuing to urge county Treasurer Brad Cromes to drop all foreign investments, as the resolution had called for, “until a thorough review of the policy can be conducted,” they say in a letter to Cromes and county executive Chris Ronayne.

Earlier Thursday, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost warned in a letter to Ronayne that approving the resolution would violate a 2016 law prohibiting boycotts of Israel.

Ohio holds over $260 million in Israel Bonds, making it among the largest public holders of the asset in the US.

According to Cleveland.com, divesture would cost the county some $95,000.

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