The Development Corporation for Israel 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 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 Israeli Bonds ever purchased in a short period, according to the Development Corporation, the agency behind Israel Bond sales. It also makes 2023 a record year for Israel Bonds.
According to a statement from the organization, 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.
Two counties in Florida, Broward and Palm Beach, also bought Israel Bonds in the last four weeks, as did Ohio’s Franklin County.
Two banks made notable buys, New Jersey based Cross River Bank and Cleveland based Key Bank, which made a $15 million dollar bond purchase. A spokesperson for the bank called the sales part of “a more than 35 year relationship with Israel Bonds.”
Executives at Israel Bonds said about $250 million of the total raised in the last month came from individual investors, large and small, throughout the United States, who purchased the bonds directly.
“It is a clear expression of support from local and state governments and from investors large and small” said Dani Naveh, President and CEO of Israel Bonds, in a zoom interview with CNBC. “It is also a show of confidence in the Israeli economy, which is strong and stable.”
Since the fighting began, Israel has attacked Gaza, Hamas’ home base, from the air, sea and ground. The Hamas-controlled Gaza Ministry of Health estimates that more than 10,000 people have been killed during Israel’s retaliation.
As the death toll in Gaza has risen, protests against Israel’s ongoing bombardment have broken out around the world, including the United States.
Naveh, the CEO of Israel Bonds, lives in the town of Savyon, just east of Tel Aviv. He told CNBC one of his neighbors’ homes was destroyed by a missile fired from Gaza this week.
“To me this emphasizes the importance of my mission to raise money to make sure that when we can, we can rebuild communities that have been destroyed,” said Naveh.
Before the war The Development Corporation for Israel had already matched its sales goal for 2023 of one billion dollars by the end of September. But the surge in the days and weeks after the war has doubled the 2023 goal, total sales have now eclipsed the $2 billion mark.
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.
“Israel’s economy has faced war before” said Naveh. “Historically the economy has always recovered and this time after the defeat of Hamas both our security and economy will come out stronger.”
The Development Corporation for Israel began selling bonds on behalf of the country in 1951 shortly after the year of its founding, in 1948. Since then, it has sold more than $50 billion worth of Israel Bonds.
Source : CNBC