ISS' Odious Failure To Recognize Israel

The United States of America was the first country to recognize Israel as a state in 1948, and the first to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in 2017.  The World Factbook published by the Central Intelligence Agency describes Israel as being located in the "Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Lebanon".    And yet, one of this country's leading proxy voting advisory firms conspicuously fails to recognize that Israel is incontrovertibly located in the Middle East.

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) attempts to identify board members' racial and ethnic identities for purposes of voting recommendations under its Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) and Catholic Faith-Based polices.  Although ISS claims that it largely classifies directors along standards put forth by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget’s Directive 15, it actually identifies and defines numerous categories not found in the OMB directive.  One of these is "Middle Eastern/North African" which it defines as "A person with origins in any of the Persian or Arab countries in the Middle East or North Africa".    Evidently, ISS regards Arabs and Persians, but not Israelis, as diverse.  ISS' arbitrary and capricious exclusion of Israel has a clear Anti-Semitic effect, if not purpose.   It is "a noxious weed that should be cut out".