ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 150

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66 New York Democratic lawmakers condemn bill targeting settlement-linked charities

Luke Tress is a JTA reporter and a former editor and reporter in New York for The Times of Israel.

Illustrative: Members of the New York Assembly work on legislative bills in the Assembly Chamber at the state Capitol, Feb. 1, 2023, in Albany, New York. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
Illustrative: Members of the New York Assembly work on legislative bills in the Assembly Chamber at the state Capitol, Feb. 1, 2023, in Albany, New York. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

NEW YORK — A majority of Democratic lawmakers in the New York State Assembly condemn a resolution introduced by their colleagues that targets funding for charities that operate in West Bank settlements.

A statement denouncing the resolution is signed by 66 Democrats from the State Assembly, representing the majority of the party’s 102 lawmakers in the government body.

The statement led by assemblymembers Daniel Rosenthal and Nily Rozic says the proposed measure’s “purpose is to attack Jewish organizations that have wide ranging mission from feeding the poor to providing emergency medical care for victims of terrorism to clothing orphans.”

“This bill is a ploy to demonize Jewish charities with connections to Israel. It was only introduced to antagonize pro-Israel New Yorkers and further sow divisions within the Democratic party,” the statement says.

A similar statement released yesterday was signed by 24 state representatives.

The resolution was put forward by progressive lawmakers from the Democratic Socialists of America.

The legislation says it aims to “prohibit not-for-profit corporations from engaging in unauthorized support of Israeli settlement activity.” It would have denied funding to settlements, but also charities outside the West Bank that provide services including support for asylum seekers, at-risk youth and the disabled.

The speaker of the New York State Assembly, Carl Heastie, dismisses the legislation as dead in the water.

“This bill is a non-starter and it is not something we are considering,” Heastie told The Times of Israel yesterday.

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