Radical lefty elites in corporate America love hating on Israel

It may be on its deathbed, but so-called ESG investing is looking to gain traction with lefty elites in corporate America by pushing for divestiture from Israel, a country fighting for its very survival, the Post has learned. 

The radical left, of course, loves to hate Israel.

Witness the horrific pro-Hamas demonstrations on college campuses after the Oct. 7 massacre.

Our president, Sleepy Joe Biden, has joined with the progressive wing of his party to beat up on Israel and force it to cut short its necessary eradication of the terrorists in Gaza. 

The remaining adherents of ESG, or Environmental Social Governance investing, now appear to be joining the anti-Israeli lobby in a last-ditch attempt to remain relevant, according to veteran economist Jerry Bowyer, author of books on finance and a decided non-woke shareholder advocate. 

Bowyer recently pointed me to a series of “proxy” proposals filed by investment advisers and activists looking to sway corporate governance at some of the nation’s biggest and most important companies.

That their goal is to pressure companies to reconsider doing business with Israel in its hour of need makes the effort all the more heinous.

Using the corporate “proxy process” to do so only adds to the disgust. 

Remember that between April and June of each year, public companies hold their shareholder meetings.

The three months are known as “proxy season,” where companies vote on various shareholder proposals that involve corporate governance measures and traditionally seek to enhance shareholder value. 

Yet for years, proxy voting has been hijacked by ESG, where investors and their advocates pressed corporations with some of the most zany left-wing demands ever imagined, as I discovered reporting out my upcoming book on corporate wokeness titled “Go Woke, Go Broke.” 

Forget shareholder value. ESG forces energy companies to invest in windmills instead of oil exploration, which led to the high inflation we have today.

Its obsession with so-called diversity mandates means qualified white men can’t get on corporate boards; even vendor selection has race- and gender-based criteria. 

ESG is why transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney became the face of Bud Light.

It’s why clothing displays at Target mixed onesies for infants with tuck-friendly bathing suits for adult males who are in the middle of their transition, and Disney’s weird obsession with same-sex kissing scenes in children’s programming. 

Facing the backlash 

Then came the backlash to corporate America’s adoption of the left’s progressive cultural revolution.

Budweiser’s parent, AB InBev, along with Target and Disney all suffered brand damage going woke, and now are looking to reverse themselves.

ESG investing is costly; it fails to produce solid returns.

Investors are turning away from it and big money managers are under pressure to exit the business. 

But it’s not dead yet; far from it in fact. Bowyer’s research shows that the ESG of today is kind of like the German Army at the end of World War II when it was making its last-ditch attempt at survival by crossing the Ardennes Forest with a sneak attack the Nazis hoped would lead to a stalemate. 

He found a bunch of what can be described as anti-Israel shareholder voting proposals filed in recent weeks as major companies like Amazon, Raytheon Technologies and Lockheed Martin gear up for proxy season. 

The proposals don’t state explicitly that they’re anti-Israel of course; the Israeli business dealings are described using woke euphemisms, such as material risks for investors.

Take, for example, one proposal filed for Amazon’s 2024 proxy vote.

It states that “Amazon Web Services (AWS) serves multiple governmental customers with a history of human rights abuses” — including the Israeli government that “uses AWS to support the apartheid system under which Palestinians are surveilled, unlawfully detained and tortured.” 

The filing says Israel’s use of AWS helps it “expand its illegal settlements and enforces segregation,” which “raises the risk of product misuse by AWS customers with poor human rights records.” 

Bowyer said he saw the Amazon filing on the website of something called the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, which describes itself as a “coalition of over 300 global institutional investors representing more than $4 trillion in managed assets (that) have leveraged their role as shareholders to call for improved performance on critical environmental and social concerns at some of the world’s most powerful companies.” 

That sounds good on paper, which is why I asked a spokeswoman for the group to comment on why the group thinks Israel doesn’t have a right to use AWS technology to defend itself against stuff like the Oct. 7 massacre. 

Her response: “We are not anti-Israel. Our members do advocate for enhanced human rights due diligence for businesses operating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas and, given the war, Israel may come up in proposals filed by our members in that context. If that’s what this is referring to, you might want to speak directly with proponents.” 

She also said the group “itself does not sponsor any shareholder proposals so to state that [it’s] saying anything about Israel would be incorrect.” 


Why would the center feature the bizarre Amazon proposal on its website if it wasn’t supporting it?

She wouldn’t say.

So I went to the lead filer of the proposal, the American Baptist Home Mission Societies, and still haven’t gotten a response. 

All in all, more proof that ESG’s demise couldn’t come fast enough.

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