Franklin County Treasurer Cheryl Brooks Sullivan has demonstrated long standing support of Israel Bonds. The treasurer has attended multiple of the company’s events, both before and during her time in office including one that featured Netanyahu and was personally recognized by Israel Bonds at an event in 2019 for her investments.


Michael Broidy (representing Jay Schottenstein, Israel Bonds Columbus general chairman),  Municipal Court Judge Cynthia Ebner, and Franklin County Treasurer Cheryl Brooks Sullivan 

According to emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, in August 2020 Sullivan proudly accepted an invitation to an Israel Bonds event from Kathe Turiel, a representative of the company. The virtual event, “Spectacular International Celebration of Heritage and Unity” featured Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Sullivan resolutely confirmed her attendance to the event, “I will most certainly be in attendance and I am grateful and honored by the invitation.” During his speech, the far right leader celebrates the 70th anniversary of Israel Bonds, praises founding Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion’s launch of Israel Bonds in 1950, and celebrates investors for continuing to support the development of Israel’s economy. 

Sullivan’s support for Israel is not just symbolic; it is clearly reflected in her investment portfolio for Franklin County. While Sullivan is not the first Franklin County treasurer to invest in Israel bonds, she has greatly increased investment during her tenure. When Sullivan took office in 2017, Franklin County had $9 million invested in Israel Bonds, accounting for one percent of total investments, according to County Investment Reports* to the Ohio Treasurer’s office. 

The reports indicate Franklin County’s holding of Israeli Bonds remained consistently at or below 9 million from 2012 - 2017. In January 2018, investments reached 12.5 million, escalating to 20 million in February. The increased investments coincide with escalated violence and illegal settlement expansion by Israeli forces. 

Gaza’s Great March of Return began in March of 2018 when Palestinian refugees joined together weekly at Gaza’s border with Israel,calling for their Right to Return to the land and protesting the Israeli blockade. Within the first year of protests, Israeli forces killed 195 Palestinians, including 41 children, and injured 29,000, showcasing Israel’s deliberate disablement and debilitation strategies. 

During the last few years, foreign investment has increased to two percent of Franklin County’s overall portfolio, which is apparently entirely dedicated to Israel Bonds. In an email from November 16, 2023, Kris McDaniel relayed the treasurer’s approval of $8 million in bonds investments to Turiel, “The Treasurer wants to maximize our foreign investment up to two percent of our overall portfolio. Right, now that would be around a $8,000,000.00 purchase that we could do before the end of the year.” As it stands, Franklin County holds $33 million in Israel Bonds, almost 4 times as much as when Sullivan took office. On April 1, one of these bonds for $1 million will mature, which the Treasurer’s office likely already has plans to reinvest in Israel Bonds. 

Sullivan's support of the Netanyahu administration and Israel Bonds corresponds with moves by state governments, municipal governments, and public pension funds in the US that have purchased $1.6 billion in bonds since October 7. Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague has increased holdings to $262.5 million in Israel Bonds and continues Ohio’s position as one of the largest U.S. government holders. Sprague has also joined Israel Bonds’ new Government, Industry, and Financial Services Leadership Group established in December 2023, advising other government and corporate investors to follow suit. 

As credit rating agencies downgrade Israel to a negative outlook following October 7, Sullivan, in step with Sprague, has made it clear that investments in Israel bonds are not a judicious financial decision but a political commitment to Israel in violation of Franklin County Treasurer’s own Ethics Policy

*Note: The County Investment Reports tool emphasizes greater transparency and accessibility for the public to view county government investment reports and states “the law requires that investing authorities in Ohio counties provide a copy of their monthly county investment advisory committee reports to the Ohio Treasurer's office.” For Franklin County, reports are only available for 2012-2020 with many months missing within these years. By failing to report how tax dollars are invested, Franklin County Treasurer’s office is breaking state law.