The National Executive Committee of Social Democrats USA released the following statement on June 13:

As an organization committed to Palestinian human rights and appalled by the Israeli government’s shameful disregard of same, we wholeheartedly endorse New York State Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani’s and State Senator Jabari Brisport’s sponsorship of the “Not On Our Dime” Act, which will stop charities registered in New York State from sending money in tax-deductible donations to West Bank settlements. Hundreds of Israeli residents of these settlements recently rampaged through towns in the West Bank, setting them ablaze, burning homes, cars and ambulances to the ground, with the backing of the Israeli government. Many of these settlers are funded by organizations in New York State.

The bill (A6943/S6992), clarifies that funding Israeli settlement activity and any violations of the international treaties signed at Geneva on August 12, 1949 by NYS charities are illegal. As such, it prohibits NY-based non-profit corporations from abusing their non-profit status to reinforce and further Israel’s illegal and inhumane settlement expansion. 

The legislation also bolsters enforcement of violations of these prohibitions: it allows the Attorney General to fine those organizations that knowingly fund settlements a sum no less than 1 million dollars, and explicitly empowers Palestinians who have been harmed by the settler violence funded by these New York-based charities to seek a civil action against them.

Overall, this legislation makes clear that New Yorkers do not support violations of international law. By explicitly naming Israeli settlements, and the war crimes that they entail, this legislation signals New Yorkers’ values, and directs enforcement priorities. This would be a first under New York law.

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