Photo Credit: RNC Research on Twitter
AOC with a friend, April 23, 2024.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Monday announced her support for a bill aimed at revoking the tax-exempt status of New York nonprofits that support Israel’s military and settlement activity. As the NY Times’ Karen Zraick put it, “Her involvement underscores the extent to which the war in Gaza and Israel’s treatment of Palestinians more broadly have animated the left flank of the Democratic Party as a pivotal election approaches.”

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Before we go any further, let’s establish that there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that NY Assemblyman Zohran Mamdani’s bill dubbed “Not on our dime!” which has been lingering in the Assembly since May 9, 2023, will ever become law. In addition to being openly anti-Israel – a position not acceptable to the vast majority of New York lawmakers – it is also a bad law because it is founded on an erroneous reading of international law. This kind of chicanery may work in the UN and the Hague, but not in Albany.

Zraick’s bill says, “This bill adds a new section to the not-for-profit corporation law prohibiting not-for-profit corporations from aiding or abetting activity in support of illegal Israeli settlements in violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.”

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention deals with deportations, transfers, and evacuations in an “occupied territory.” But for a territory to be occupied, it must be taken by force from its previous owner, and the “west bank” of the Jordan River was not the legitimate property of any government since it had been abandoned on May 15, 1948, by the British government. The entire area which used to be controlled by Great Britain effectively became a no man’s land. Israel, in keeping with UN resolution 181, declared its ownership of part of the land – which was recognized by a majority of the UN member countries. Jordan, which maintained military control over the “West Bank,” never received broad international recognition of its rights there, and so, when the IDF invaded the area, on June 9, 1967, it was obtaining a no man’s land.

Also: Article 49 talks about the “occupying power” moving by force its civilians to settle them on the defeated country’s lands. But in Israel’s case, the moving was done through private enterprises, often against the will of the government.

But AOC is not so much into legal subtleties as she is Israel-bashing. “It is more important now than ever to hold the Netanyahu government accountable for endorsing and, in fact, supporting some of this settler violence that prevents a lasting peace,” she told reporters. “This bill will make sure that the ongoing atrocities that we see happening in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as the ongoing enabling of armed militias to terrorize Palestinians in the West Bank, do not benefit from New York State charitable tax exemptions.”

And so, the American left has proven once again that it may be walking among us, earthlings, but their consciousness is living on a different planet with its own reality.

The Democratic Socialists of America’s delegation at the NY Assembly is as international as the Internazionale: Zohran Mamdani was born in Uganda, Marcela Mitaynes hails from Peru, and Sarahana Shrestha came from Nepal and received her US citizenship only in 2019. The only American born in the group are Phara Souffrant Forrest (Crown Heights), and Emily E. Gallagher (Rochester).

By the way, in the House of Representatives, the DSA members are (Surprise, surprise) Rashida Tlaib, AOC, and Cori Bush.

At the press conference where she endorsed the anti-Israel bill, AOC praised the important work done by Jewish charitable organizations in the city, but argued that “some organizations were raising funds for extremist settlers, creating an obstacle to a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”

Under the proposed legislation, the state attorney general would have the authority to file lawsuits against non-profit organizations, seeking penalties of at least $1 million and revocation of their tax-exempt status if found in violation of the restrictions outlined in the bill. Additionally, the measure would grant legal standing to “Palestinians” and any other individuals claiming harm from such violations, enabling them to pursue civil litigation against the non-profit entities in question.

Assemblywoman Nily Rozic co-wrote a letter that was signed by the majority of Democrats in the Assembly, arguing that Mamdani’s “Not on our dime!” was, in effect, an “attack Jewish organizations” that provide charity to orphans.

“I believe it intends harm on the Jewish community and its communal organizations,” Rozic told the NY Times. “Instead, we should be committed to finding common ground with our colleagues here in New York, rather than focusing on legislation aimed at dividing Democrats.”

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.