The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) praises the New York State Senate for overwhelmingly passing an important, bi-partisan anti-boycott bill, S6378A (2015), last week. The bill prohibits New York State government agencies from contracting with and investing in entities that boycott American allies, including Israel. The ZOA is especially pleased that S6378A also prohibits NY State government contracts with and investments in companies that boycott products from “territories controlled by” our allies, because this provision will prevent BDS groups from engaging in the “divide and conquer” tactic of starting their boycotts by targeting Jewish/Israeli companies in the Old City of Jerusalem, Hebron, and other historic Jewish areas in Judea/Samaria. “Targeted” boycotts are discriminatory and anti-Semitic, and BDS groups that start with “targeted” boycotts soon “graduate” to boycotting all of Israel.
S6378A helps assure that New York State citizens’ hard-earned tax dollars will not end up in the hands of the anti-Semitic boycotters of the Jewish State.
ZOA praises all the members of the New York State Senate who voted for S6378A by a resounding 55 to 6 vote, and especially thanks the bill’s bi-partisan co-sponsors: State Senators Jack M. Martins (Repub., SD-7, Long Island) and Simcha Felder (Dem., SD-17, Brooklyn) who introduced the bill; plus additional co-sponsors Hugh T. Farley (Repub., Cons., Indep., SD-49); Thomas D. Croci (Repub., SD-3); Martin J. Golden (Repub., Cons., Indep., SD-22, Brooklyn); and Terrence Murphy (Repub., Cons., Ind., SC, SD-40, Putnam Co.).
However, please note that the companion bill now needs to pass the New York State Assembly before S6378A can become the law! We need your help! Please contact members of the New York State Assembly to urge them to pass A9036. (See contact information below.) A9036 is sponsored by State Assemblywoman Helene E. Weinstein (Dem., AD-41, Brooklyn) with bi-partisan co-sponsors Assemblymen Charles Lavine (Repub. AD-13, Long Island) and Michael Simanowitz (Dem., AD-27, Queens). Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (Dem, AD-26, Queens) also just signed on as a co-sponsor.
Note: In 2014, the New York State Senate passed an anti-boycott bill – but that bill died in the Assembly after radical BDS groups and their allies mounted a lobbying campaign to stop this bill in its tracks in the Assembly. (The 2014 bill prohibited colleges from using New York State aid to fund memberships in academic institutions engaged in boycotting a country or a country’s higher education institutions. The bill would have prevented New York State taxpayer dollars from flowing to the notorious American Studies Association boycott of Israeli academic institutions.)
Anti-Semitic BDS groups are sending out alerts telling Israel haters to stop A9036 from passing in the Assembly, saying: “Tell Albany: You can’t tell us who to Boycott!” Assembly offices told ZOA that they are receiving emails against this bill from Israel-haters. WE NEED TO FLOOD ASSEMBLY OFFICES WITH EMAILS AND CALLS TO PASS THIS BILL.
We cannot let anti-Semitic BDS groups kill anti-boycott laws in the NY State Assembly again!
Please also note that the New York State Assembly passed a resolution last June condemning anti-Israel boycotts, sponsored by Assemblyman Walter T. Mosley (D-Brooklyn) and co-sponsored by 74 other Assembly members. The Assembly resolution said, among other things: “That this Legislative Body is concerned that the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement and its agenda are damaging to the causes of peace, justice, equality, democracy, and human rights for all peoples in the Middle East.”
The Assembly members’ hearts are thus in the right place – but we now need them to pass an anti-boycott law (A-9036) that has teeth in it!
Information for Contacting the New York State Assembly:
(Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions.)
Dear Assemblyman/woman _________:
Please vote for A9036, an important bill that prevents our tax dollars from flowing to anti-Semitic hate groups that boycott and are trying to economically destroy our close ally Israel, the only democratic nation in the Middle East. The New York State Senate recently passed the companion bill (S6378A).
I appreciate your help passing the Assembly resolution last June condemning anti-Israel boycotts. That resolution stated that the “BDS movement“ to boycott Israel “is damaging to the causes of peace, justice, equality, democracy, and human rights for all peoples in the Middle East.” Passing A9036 now will put into effect the principles stated in the Assembly’s June 2015 resolution.
We need you to act now so that A9036 can become law. Please help assure that New York State does not support hateful, anti-Semitic boycotts.
Here are some statements about the Senate bill, which you can also include or adapt for your letter to the Assembly.
State Senator Jack Martins said: “Our tax dollars should not be used to aid those who wish to harm our friends. Israel and our other allies stand side by side with us to protect New Yorkers and all Americans. We owe it to them to ensure our own resources are not used in efforts to attack them. This sends a strong message that New York State supports those who have continually supported us.”
State Senator Simcha Felder said, “Those who advocate and engage in boycotts against Israel, and who promote anti-Semitic ideology, have no place as a state contractor. This is very meaningful legislation that protects our nation’s allies and stands up against bigotry and injustice.”
State Senator (& Majority Leader) John J. Flanagan said: “New York taxpayers need to be protected from becoming unwitting supporters of those who are trying to undermine our greatest ally, Israel, and other critical allies. We are demonstrating that New York will continue to stand with our international partners and protect our shared interests.”
U.S. Congressman Lee Zeldin said: “There is no greater ally and strategic partner to the United States than Israel. It’s essential that we remain committed to building a stronger relationship between our two nations. The anti-Semitic ideology harming Israel and her economy through the BDS movement should not be supported in any manner by the United States. I thank the New York State Senate for leading boldly on this important issue, and hope that this legislation will be quickly passed by the State Assembly and signed into law.”
Please send a copy of your correspondence and any response to firstname.lastname@example.org
Assemblypersons to Contact:
If you live in New York, you can find out who your Assemblyperson is here. Please make sure to call and write to your Assemblyperson, as well as others who you might help encourage to vote for this important bill.
Sponsor of A-9036:
Assemblywoman Helene E. Weinstein (Dem, AD-41, Brooklyn)
Please thank Assemblywoman Weinstein for sponsoring A-9036, and ask her to do everything possible to assure that A-9036 passes in the Assembly.
District Office tel: 718-648-4700
Albany Office tel: 518-455-5462
Co-sponsors of A-9036:
Please thank Assemblymen Lavine and Simanowitz for co-sponsoring A-9036, and ask them to do everything possible to assure that A-9036 passes in the Assembly.
Assemblyman Charles Lavine (Repub. AD-13, Long Island: Glen Cove, Plainview, Woodbury, Westbury, Bayville, Sea Cliff)
District Office tel: 516-676-0050
Albany Office tel: 518-455-5456
Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz (Dem., AD-27, Queens: Flushing, Kew Garden Hills, College Point)
District Office tel: 718-969-1508
Albany Office tel: 518-455-4404