Since the genocidal attack by Hamas against the people of Israel on October 7, the major national arena of state governmental support of Israel has been the purchase of Israel bonds. The State of New Jersey, under the leadership of Governor Phil Murphy has been conspicuous in its failure to participate in this effort.
According to a CNBC report dated November 8, 2023, “Massive surge in the buying of Israel Bonds from the United States,”
The Development Corporation for Israel, the agency behind Israel bond sales, has raised $1 billion from bond sales in the United States since the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas that killed at least 1,400 Israelis and took another 240 as hostages.
The Israeli Ministry of Finance issued new bonds in the days immediately following the attack. The $1 billion raised in the last four weeks is the largest amount of Israel Bonds ever purchased in a short period, according to the Development Corporation. It also makes 2023 a record year for Israel Bonds.
According to a statement from the Development Corporation, most of the money came from 15 state and municipal bond funds, as well as a few banks. The main buyers were state governments in Florida, New York, Alabama, Arizona, Ohio, Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Nevada, Louisiana, South Carolina, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.
New York State bought in $20 million dollars of Israel Bonds just after the war started, bringing the total amount in its portfolio to $267 million dollars.
In a statement, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said, “New York state’s pension fund buys Israel Bonds because we have confidence in the spirit of innovation and tenacity of Israeli people and in the strength of our investments there.”
Much of the money raised will go to help rebuild communities in the south of the country that were destroyed by Hamas and other terrorist groups who entered from Gaza on Oct. 7. The money will also help the Israeli government to reimburse costs incurred by hospitals that are treating the wounded throughout Israel, the organization said.
Blatantly shameful by its absence in this historic effort has been the State of New Jersey, under the leadership, or lack of same, of Governor Phil Murphy. What makes this abdication of leadership by Governor Murphy so noteworthy is that it runs contrary to his action of December, 2020, when facing a reelection campaign in 2021, he spearheaded the purchase of $20 million of Israel bonds by the State of New Jersey.
In 2024, the Murphy candidate for statewide office is not Phil Murphy but his wife, Tammy Murphy, running for US Senate. In my view, the dire fear of left-wing progressive Democrats held by the Murphys is the reason behind Phil Murphy’s refusal to order the purchase by the State of New Jersey of Israel bonds.
Tammy Murphy has been speaking out against Hamas, calling for its elimination. You would think that Tammy Murphy is Bibi Netanyahu. But talk is cheap.
The Murphys know that the greatest obstacle to her winning the nomination for US Senate, aside from the absolute paucity of qualifications on her part, is the opposition from progressives, particularly socialist leaning progressive Democrats, many of whom have adhered to the dubious doctrine of “moral equivalence” between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs and have called for a ceasefire, despite the refusal of Hamas to free the Jewish hostages.
If the progressive Democrats were to unite behind her principal opponent in the Democratic 2024 Senatorial primary, Congressman Andy Kim, Tammy Murphy’s campaign could be seriously imperiled. Given the widespread negativity towards Israel among progressives, the purchase of Israel bonds spearheaded by Governor Murphy could act as rocket fuel to unite progressive opposition to the Murphys under the Andy Kim banner. So do not expect Governor Murphy to order any State government purchase of Israel bonds.
The Phil Murphy inaction on Israel bond purchase is a classic example of how state government over the next year will be a hostage to the Tammy Murphy for Senate campaign. Her campaign is an archetypal example of the substitution of Murphy nepotism for Menendez corruption. Unfortunately, efforts of the State of New Jersey to assist Israel in its hour of trial is a victim of Murphy campaign politics.
Alan J. Steinberg of Highland Park served as regional administrator of Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush and as executive director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.