Zohran Mamdani who represents Astoria, Ditmars, and Astoria Heights in the NY State Assembly is pushing a bill he dubbed the “Not on our dime! Ending New York funding of Israeli settler violence act” to “prohibit not-for-profit corporations from engaging in unauthorized support of Israeli settlement activity; allows for recovery of a civil penalty by the state attorney general; creates a private right of action for violations.”
A Muslim who was born and raised in Kampala, Uganda, Mamdani moved to New York City when he was seven. He began his political career in 2017 when he volunteered for Khader El-Yateem, a PA Arab Lutheran minister who ran for the New York City Council in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. El-Yateem did not get elected, but Mamdani continued to volunteer for left-wing campaigns until in 2019 he announced he was running for the New York State Assembly in the 36th district, and ended up narrowly defeating the four-term incumbent Aravella Simotas. The race was so tight, it took a month before the results were called.
Mamdani is affiliated with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and was endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America.
His bill calls for NY State to punish not-for-profit groups that support Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, citing a long list of reasons, most notably:
- Unlawful transfer of Israeli civilians into occupied territory
- Acts of violence committed by Israeli citizens against protected persons living in occupied territory
- Forced transfer or eviction of protected persons within the occupied territory, or eviction from occupied territory
- Appropriation, expropriation, seizure, destruction, demolition, dismantlement, or confiscation, in whole or in part, of private Palestinian land or residential, business, social, or public structures or infrastructure, inhabited or uninhabited
In other words, the standard anti-Israel BDS drivel.
But Queens Democrat assembly members Daniel Rosenthal and Nily Rozic who are part of a group of 25 pro-Israel assembly members, including Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, chairwoman of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, and Helene Weinstein and Jeffrey Dinowitz, chairpersons of the Ways and Means and Codes committees (respectively), believe the bill is “dead on arrival.”
The group sent out a joint letter warning that Mamdani’s bill would punish Jewish not-for-profit groups that support the needy as well as pay for treating victims of Arab terrorism.
“This bill targets them all. In response, we say Not on our watch,” Rosenthal and Rozic announced, adding that “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.”