A conservative nonprofit watchdog has launched a nationwide campaign taking investment firm Morningstar to task for alleged anti-Israel bias.
Consumers’ Research says Morningstar is supporting the BDS campaign by assigning controversy ratings to companies doing business in Israel-controlled territories outside the so-called “Green Line.” Those ratings are used by socially conscious investors to make decisions in what is known as the environmental, social and governance (ESG) movement.
Critics of ESG say broadly that it injects left-wing political concerns into investing.
On Tuesday, Consumers’ Research launched DontTrustMorningStar.com, an aggregate of news articles detailing the company’s controversies.
The nonprofit also launched a direct-mail outreach campaign and placed a mobile billboard this week outside of Morningstar’s headquarters in Chicago.
“Left unchecked, large asset management firms would happily inject progressive politics into every aspect of American life,” said Will Hild, executive director of Consumers’ Research “This, combined with its clear anti-Israel bias, has made it clear that Morningstar simply cannot be trusted.”
Morningstar has consistently denied participating in BDS and reached an agreement last October with a coalition of American Jewish and pro-Israel organizations on a series of steps to root out any potential systemic anti-Israel bias in its ratings process.
JNS reported exclusively earlier this week that Morningstar recently deflagged Motorola from its controversy ratings and removed it from a damaging watchlist.
It did so after failing to find current evidence of Motorola contracts with the Israeli government to provide equipment for the maintenance and operation of the security barrier and other systems protecting Jewish neighborhoods across Green Line.
JNS reported Morningstar’s controversy ratings are still attached to 26 other companies doing business in Israel-controlled areas of what the United Nations deems “occupied territory.” And while the investment firm has made progress on fulfilling its agreement commitments, it has not yet provided any avenue for those companies to be deflagged or have their controversy ratings improved other than to stop doing business in those areas—a violation of many American anti-BDS laws.
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