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Struggle against Antisemitism United States

New York Senate passes bill banning funds to pro-BDS individuals, groups

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Source: Forward

The New York state Senate on Monday again passed a measure barring companies that boycott Israel from participating in New York state grants or contracts, two years after the governor issued a similar executive order when the bill was rejected by the Assembly.

The bill, S2492A,  sponsored by Sen. Elaine Phillips (R-Manhasset), codifies Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s order and creates a list of businesses seeking to harm American allies economically that would be prevented from entering into a state contract or investment.

New York State Senator Elaine Phillips

“New York has no business funding an economic war against Israel, or other allied nations, by conducting business with its enemies,” Phillips said. “It’s an inappropriate and offensive use of taxpayer dollars.”

The measure, which has already passed in 12 other states, specifically targets the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which Israel says is an anti-Semitic group.

While current law prohibits the state from directly engaging in an international boycott against allied nations, the new bill would extend that to indirect support of a boycott as well.

The bill will be sent to the Assembly. In 2016, the bill was rejected there on constitutional grounds, with some arguing that it targets free speech rights.