May 17, 2024

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Palm Beach County, Florida, becomes world’s biggest Israel bond investor

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Palm Beach County, Florida, becomes world's biggest Israel bond investor

Palm Beach County, Florida, has become the world’s largest investor in Israel bonds, with its investments now totaling more than $700 million.

In the six months since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks, global sales of Israel bonds have surpassed $3 billion. This includes the $1.7 billion that more than 35 U.S. states and municipal governments have invested.

Investments have come from states including Florida, New York, Alabama, Arizona, Ohio, Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Nevada, Louisiana, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Indiana as well as Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties, the cities of Miami Beach and Boca Raton and Franklin County, Ohio. Additional investments have been made by both KeyBank and Cross River.

“From retail purchases … to state treasurers making unprecedented purchases, Israel Bonds has seen a surge of investments across every category that we do business,” said Dani Naveh.

Israel Bonds

“We have seen a record-breaking numbers of sales — and from all over the world as well as from the United States,” Dani Naveh, president and CEO of the  Development Corporation for Israel/Israel Bonds, told The Bond Buyer on Thursday.

“Investors of all types have dramatically increased their investment in the Jewish state,” he said. “From retail purchases by synagogue members buying bar or bat mitzvah celebration bonds to state treasurers making unprecedented purchases, Israel Bonds has seen a surge of investments across every category that we do business.”

He noted this reflects the level of support the state of Israel has been receiving from the U.S. and around the globe.

But by far, the $700 million investment from Palm Beach County is the largest.

“Israel is our greatest ally and they need our full support in the aftermath of this horrific terrorist attack that slaughtered hundreds of innocent civilians,” Palm Beach County Clerk and Comptroller Joseph Abruzzo said last year after the attacks.

Abruzzo manages the county’s investment portfolio in his role as its chief financial officer.

“I am proud to show solidarity with the people of Israel and make Palm Beach County the first county in the nation to increase its investment in Israel bonds following their declaration of war against Hamas,” Abruzzo said.

In December, Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague, Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs, Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity, Oklahoma Treasurer Todd Russ and Abruzzo joined Israel Bonds’ Government, Industry and Financial Services Leadership group.

The group aims to grow the organization’s governmental relationships throughout the United States and help develop relationships with corporate and institutional investors.

Israeli authorities have said the assault by Hamas fighters killed about 1,200 people on Oct. 7. Since then Hamas-run health authorities have claimed that 34,000 Palestinians have been killed while Israel estimates around 10,000 Hamas fighters have been killed.

University students and outsiders are protesting the war at several colleges around the country, waving Palestinian flags and establishing tent camps. Some protesters at Columbia and Berkeley have threatened Jewish students and expressed support for Hamas, which is designated a terrorist organization by the United States, Bloomberg News reported.

Naveh noted there were ways to peacefully and forcefully fight back against those who desire the destruction of the Jewish state.

“One of the best ways to respond to these anti-Semitic and anti-Israel groups — those people who call for destruction of the Jewish state — is by increasing their financial support for Israel,” Naveh said. “And if you have concerns and are upset about the rise of these anti-Semitic groups, the best way to combat this hate is for you to buy or increase your holdings in Israel bonds.”

Andrew M. Hutter, national and international chairman of the board at Israel Bonds, said big or small each purchase makes a difference. 

“Every bondholder is a partner in Israel’s success, helping the Jewish state to navigate the unique challenges of this moment and write the next chapter in its remarkable story,” Hutter said.  

In the first 30 days after Oct. 7 attacks, Israel Bonds raised over $1 billion, a significant acceleration in investment comparable to its typical annual total. In the six months since the attacks, Israel Bonds had more than $3 billion in global sales, almost three times the company’s average annual sales volume. In 2023, Israel Bonds saw $2.7 billion in worldwide sales.

Israel Bonds is a broker dealer with affiliates around the world. Since 1951 it has played an important role in Israel’s economic development.