NY Bill Aims to End Support for Pro-Israeli Settlement Groups
Friday, July 21, 2023
A proposed New York bill aims to end state funding for so-called charities supporting Israeli settlements.
The "Not On Our Dime Act" aims to end support for nonprofit groups engaging in unauthorized support of Israeli settlement activity. In New York, the Central Fund of Israel receives $50 million in state funds, which is spent on the settlements.
Asm. Zohran Mamdani, D-Astoria, the bill's sponsor, described how the bill would be enforced.
"What enforcement would look like is the Attorney General being given the right to sue organizations and individuals who work for those organizations that have been found guilty of financing entities that violate the Geneva Convention," Mamdani explained.
The bill has received mixed support from constituents and other lawmakers. Those who favor it feel it prevents New York from continuing to contribute to unending violence. Lawmakers opposing the bill signed a letter saying it demonizes Jewish charities and is meant to antagonize pro-Israel New Yorkers.
Federal officials have voiced concerns about the U.S. providing funds to such groups. In 2010, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the U.S. would ban citizen funding for settlements if Israeli occupation did not end.
Though nothing came of the warning, Mamdani argued the Internal Revenue Service can tackle it.
"The IRS could make it very clear that if you are financing and subsidizing the violation of international law, and therefore war crimes, then you are not to be considered a charitable purpose," Mamdani contended.
In recent years some federal elected officials have voiced the need for this kind of funding to be withdrawn. In 2021, several Congressional lawmakers sent a letter to the Treasury Department calling for the examination of charities supporting illegal settlements in Palestine.
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