SENATORS CALLS ON ASSEMBLY TO PASS ANTI-BDS LEGISLATION
Members of the New York Senate Majority, including, State Senators Jack Martins, Kemp Hannon, Carl Marcellino, Phil Boyle, Tom Croci, and Michael Venditto, and Chris McGrath, candidate for the Special Election in the New York State Senate’s Ninth District joined with local elected officials and community members today.
The group gathered in front Andrew J. Parise Park to call on the New York City-led State Assembly to pass legislation that would prohibit state contracting with, or state investment in businesses or individuals that promote or engage in activities to boycott, divest, or sanction Israel.
The legislation, S.6378A/A.9036, passed 39 days ago by the Senate with a 55-6 vote, sponsored by Senator Jack Martins and Senator Simcha Felder and strongly-supported by Majority Leader John Flanagan, was one of the Senate Republican Majority’s top priorities this session. However, the New York City Democrats have failed to take up this bill in the Assembly this year.
This critically-important measure would send a strong signal that New York won’t be doing business with companies that seek to harm Israel and other American allies throughout the world.
Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan said, “New York taxpayers should be protected from becoming unwitting supporters of those who are trying to undermine our greatest ally, Israel, and other critical allies. Today, the Senate Republican Majority is once again demonstrating that we will continue to stand with our international partners and protect our shared national interests. The Assembly must join us in this fight.”
“Actions speak louder than words. Over a month ago, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation to prevent taxpayer dollars from aiding those who attack our allies; the Assembly has done nothing. Every day they fail to act is another day they enable others to use state resources to harm Israel. It's time for the Assembly to join us in making this a priority and sending a strong message that New York State supports Israel and our other allies who have continually supported us,” said Senator Jack M. Martins, the bill's sponsor.
Senator Kemp Hannon said, “I am pleased to stand with the members of our Senate Majority to protect the taxpayers of Long Island and New York, and support our most important and trusted ally - the state of Israel. This is an important moment in our history, and the Assembly should join us in approving this bill.”
“This critical legislation seeks to counter the senseless economic targeting of Israel. New York tax dollars should never be manipulated to damage our Nation's allies. Passing this bill sends an unquestioned message that we oppose BDS and support our friends in Israel. The Assembly needs to act now,” said Senator Carl L. Marcellino.
“The recent announcement of cash for terrorists is just the most recent example of Iran’s continuing sponsorship of terrorism in Israel, here in the United States, and throughout the world,” said Senator Tom Croci, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Veterans, and Military Affairs. “The hard-earned money of New York taxpayers and consumers should not be used to support foreign regimes who mean to do us harm.”
“As an elected official, sworn to serve the public, I have a strong and urgent responsibility to act aggressively when there is a movement to deliberately harm American allies, especially by those that also seek to harm Americans,” said Senator Phil Boyle. “I cannot knowingly support any organization, agency, or company who profits from the devaluation of one of the United States’ strongest allies - Israel - and the State of New York should not support them either. As a State Legislature it is our responsibility to ensure the State of New York philosophy of protecting its citizens is clear in every regard. I proudly stand with my Senate colleagues in urging the State Assembly Democrats and the Governor to put basic principals above politics and support the Anti-BDS movement by passing and signing our bill.”
“Any company that contracts with New York should be respecting one of our nation’s strongest and closest allies. New York is a welcoming place for everyone, and this legislation will make our State support those who have always supported us,” said Senator Michael Venditto.
“The NYC-led State Assembly has an obligation to stand up and send a strong message that New York won’t be doing business with companies that seek to harm Israel. 39 days ago, the Senate Majority passed a bill that sent a strong message that they are standing firm with our ally, and it’s past time for the Assembly to act. A Senate controlled by NYC politicians will only continue to coddle countries that promote terrorism and seek to harm the state of Israel. This is why having a Senate Majority in Republican hands will protect our suburbs, our way of life and our interests,” said Chris McGrath, candidate for the Special Election in the New York State Senate’s Ninth District.
Current New York State law prohibits the State from directly engaging in an international boycott against American-allied nations. New York City has a similar prohibition as part of its administrative code. However, the state could indirectly support a boycott of American allies by providing state monies to businesses or individuals that participate in boycotts like the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement aimed at causing economic harm to Israel and the Israeli people.
This legislation would expand New York’s law by prohibiting state contracting with, or state investment in businesses or individuals that promote or engage in activities to boycott, sanction, or divest in Israel and other American allied nations. This would prevent the state from becoming unwilling participants in a discriminatory agenda.
The Assembly’s inaction comes at a time when the state of Israel, our strongest and closest ally, is under siege by terrorist organizations and countries that support their destruction.