Pennsylvania police officers arrested more than 100 anti-Israel protesters in the state Capitol on Monday afternoon who were demanding that the state divest its Israel Bonds holdings.
There was no permit for a protest, according to Pennsylvania’s Capitol Police and State Police. The arrested protesters were issued “summary citations for trespassing” and released, per police.
Pennsylvania invests some $56 million in Israel Bonds, including a $20 million investment since Oct. 7, according to an Oct. 12 press release from Stacy Garrity, the state treasurer.
“Israel is our greatest ally in the Middle East, and I will always stand with them,” Garrity stated at the time. “Israel bonds are a smart, dependable investment with a proven track record—and it’s especially important to show our support at a time when the people of Israel are facing horrific terrorism.”
She added that Pennsylvania and Israel have a “strong relationship.”
“Pennsylvania’s new investment in Israel bonds sends a powerful and uplifting message to Israel at this exceedingly difficult time,” Dani Naveh, president and CEO of Israel Bonds, stated at the time. “The state’s tremendous commitment also provides impactful and much-needed assistance on the ground, through financial support that helps secure the future of the State of Israel and its people.”
On Monday, the anti-Israel protesters sought to cast their protest as an economic statement, with some bearing banners stating “Divest from genocide, invest in PA” and “Fund PA schools.”
Jewish Voice for Peace, the Philly Palestine Coalition and the Pennsylvania Council on American-Islamic Relations organized the protest.
“Instead of investing in improving our communities, PA elected officials are giving into special interests by investing our tax dollars in genocide and war by irresponsibly investing millions in Israel Bonds,” JVP wrote.
“My decision to invest in Israel Bonds is more than a show of support. These bonds have proven to be a solid investment, providing ample returns for Pennsylvania taxpayers,” Garrity wrote.