NY Bill Would Strip Anti-Israel Groups Of Taxpayer Funds

REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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A bill is currently working its way through the New York Legislature that would change the state’s education law to strip taxpayer money from student organizations that in any way promote “hate speech,” according to Tuesday reports.

Jack M. Martins, the Republican senator for the New York legislature, sponsored the bill; it was introduced on June 6. The bill has been referred to the rules committee and has yet to be put on the floor calendar. The bill states that student groups and organizations that “directly or indirectly promotes, encourages, or permits discrimination, intolerance, hate speech, or boycotts against a person or group based on race, class, gender, nationality, ethnic origin, or religion shall be ineligible for funding.”

The bill defines “boycott” as engaging or promoting any activity that would penalize or harm “allied nations” or the people of those nations. “Allied nations” include countries that are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; countries that signed the Southeast Asia Treat of 1954; any country but Venezuela that signed the Rio Treaty of 1947; Ireland, Israel, Japan and the Republic of China.

The bill instructs State University of New York trustees to set up rules to implement the bill’s new policy. If student groups violate the policy, they will lose any federal funding they receive through the school.

The bill comes in the wake of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order that prevents executive branch agencies and departments, public boards, authorities, commissions and public benefit corporations from having any ties to the B.D.S movement, an organization that seeks to impose boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it complies with their demands.

The bill charges that the B.D.S movement is harmful to citizens and spreads anti-Semitism, anti-capitalism and anti-freedom values. To those who say that it violates free speech, the bill states that “this bill would not abridge any element of free speech, but would merely prevent the state of New York from being dragged into a discriminatory agenda.”

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