Friday, May 24

Palm Beach County residents file lawsuit concerning investment in Israel bonds

Upset residents filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Palm Beach County government regarding the investment of Israeli bonds.

A group of 50 to 100 Palm Beach County concerned residents gathered outside the county courthouse Wednesday morning after learning that Palm Beach County protested the investment of private and taxpayer dollars in Israel bonds.

This comes amid the ongoing war and mass humanitarian crisis occurring in Gaza.

An Israel bond is a loan you can make to the State of Israel, to support Israel and diversify investment portfolios. Across the country, local governments are investing private and taxpayer dollars into these bonds.

“We learned that these bonds have a really high risk of not making a return,” Palm Beach County resident Lydia S. said, “which means the $700 million that was spent may not come back to Palm Beach County.”

Palm Beach County’s County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller Joseph Abruzzo announced in March that the county is the world’s largest investor in Israel bonds, with about $700 million of its $4.67 billion portfolio invested in Israel bonds.

The announcement came after a unanimous approval from the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners to increase the cap on investments from 10% to 15% of the portfolio.

Residents gathered Wednesday outside the commissioners building to announce a lawsuit against the investments.

“Our tax dollars should go to our needs and not fund the genocide,” Lydia S. said.

Abruzzo’s office issued the following statement to WPTV regarding the lawsuit:

“Palm Beach County has a strong, diversified portfolio designed to protect taxpayers’ investment. Investments are governed by the County’s Investment Policy and Florida law. The county’s investment in Israel Bonds will generate significant returns for Palm Beach County while safeguarding taxpayer money. Our office has a proven track record of delivering significant investment returns for Palm Beach County residents, including a record $172 million in investment income for taxpayers in Fiscal Year 2023.”

The clerk’s office said they feel confident the lawsuit will be dismissed.

“While we have not seen the lawsuit yet, we expect this frivolous case will be quickly dismissed with prejudice,” Abruzzo said in a statement.

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