- Associated Press - Thursday, June 30, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York’s comptroller has directed staff of the $178 billion pension fund for state and local government workers to identify and restrict investments in companies supporting a boycott of Israel.

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the fund has $532 million in Israel-based investments and attempts to harm its economy put them at risk.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo three weeks ago ordered state agencies to cease doing business with companies that boycott, divest or sanction the Israeli government.

Critics of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians have accused the Democratic governor of violating the constitutionally protected free speech of business owners.

Cuomo directed state officials to draw up a list of businesses involved, which civil rights groups called a blacklist to impose sanctions for political beliefs.

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