Continuing to Stand with Israel

Published 10:35 am Friday, May 3, 2024

By David McRae

State Treasurer

The October 7 Hamas attack on Israel was just one episode in a series of murderous events that led to the current war in Gaza. Hamas, Hezbollah, Houthis, and Iran have long placed a target on Israel’s back (not only because Israel is a Jewish state, but because it is a democracy and an ally of the United States).

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It is with this as a background that I applaud Governor Tate Reeves and the State Legislature for enacting a new expansion of the state’s ability to invest in the Israel bond program. I’ve long championed this effort, as the bonds provide a competitive rate of return while also offering much-needed support to a key U.S. ally.

The Israel bond investments comprise just a fraction of Mississippi’s investment portfolio. Nonetheless, the impact is profound. While Mississippi wholeheartedly supports Israel and its right to survive, the beauty of this agreement is that it is fundamentally what is best for Mississippi. These bonds have provided Mississippi with an excellent rate of return, lightening the taxpayer burden.

Mississippi has been invested in Israel bonds for the last four years and has earned over $2.2 million in interest income. While Israel bonds are not rated, Israel has an investment-grade credit rating for its overall debt, and the bonds have a solid coupon, paying 4.76 percent on our reinvestment that occurred on February 1, 2023.

The newly enacted bill expands the investment cap and allows for such investments in perpetuity, eliminating the need for further renewals to the policy. This provides long-term opportunities for Mississippi to aid our ally while benefiting economically from the investment.

In a rare win-win, the Israel bond program provides benefits to both Mississippi and our ally. It won’t win the war or relieve all of Israel’s troubles, but it is progress, and it will move both toward our declared ends – a stable economy and a more stable Israel. 

Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles. (Psalm 25:22)