Minnesota Break the Bonds and Minnesota BDS Community Minnesota Break the Bonds (MNBBC) members are Palestinians, Americans, Jews, Christians, Muslims, students, professionals, parents, community members and allies working together to bring Palestine-centric education to Minnesota in order to promote justice and human rights.
MNBBC was founded in 2009 to pursue the divestment of Israel bonds from the State Board of Investment (SBI). Minnesota’s investment in Israel supports an apartheid system in both Israel and the Occupied Territories that has caused thousands of civilian deaths, many of whom are children, and which involves the widespread abuse of human rights. This system defies a ruling by the International Court of Justice as well as more than 65 UN Resolutions, and violates the Fourth Geneva Convention. MNBBC members demand that the state of Minnesota act on its good conscience and break its economic ties with the apartheid state of Israel.
After some years of concentrating solely on divestment of Israel bonds, MNBBC expanded its activities to promoting awareness of Palestine issues more broadly and joining forces with other state-wide organizations to form the Minnesota BDS Community. Activities still include interacting with SBI members and appearing at quarterly SBI meetings as well as working through the state legislature, lately for the purpose of repealing the anti-BDS legislation passed in 2017. The most recent campaign is aimed at introducing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) requirements for SBI investments. The argument is that choosing investments that promote human rights and a clean environment, for example, will to lead in the long run to positive portfolio outcomes. With the enactment of such requirements, it will be easier for the MNBDS Community to end SBI investment in companies like Elbit (https://corporatewatch.org/elbit-systems-company-profile-2/), which produces weaponry and surveillance equipment used on Palestinian populations as well as on the US-Mexico border. Here is a link to another current project to put pressure on Minnesota’s General Mills, which operates a factory in an illegal Israeli settlement built on militarily-occupied Palestinian land. (https://investigate.afsc.org/company/general-mills)