Republicans in Albany Push Bills in Response to Campus Protests

By Hamodia Staff

Assemblyman Michael Novakhov speaking at the press conference Wednesday.

Republicans in the New York State Legislature are pushing bills aimed at responding to the anti-Israel protests roiling college campuses, but the legislation has little chance of passage in the Democrat-dominated bodies.

On Wednesday, GOP Assemblyman Ari Brown and Sen. Steven Rhoads introduced a bill that would prohibits state funding of any university that permits “terrorist organizations or activities in support of such organizations on campus.” It would also prohibit the university from funding any student group that “directly or indirectly promotes, encourages, advocates, or engages in any terrorist advocacy or activities on campus.”

The bill is a response to students groups like Students for Justice in Palestine holding demonstrations, encampments, and occupations on college campuses that have supported intifada, a violent uprising against Jews in Israel.

“If the Democrats had the backbone to push this out of committee, this legislation would serve as a sledgehammer to crush their biased, politically correct agenda,” Brown said at a press conference announcing the bill.

 “We refuse to sit back and let our colleges and universities become hotbeds for terrorism,” Brown continued. “It’s disgraceful that many of my colleagues across the aisle prioritize political correctness over the safety of Jewish students. This bill ensures that any institution failing to protect our students and our nation will be cut off from state funding. Allowing terrorist activities on campuses is unacceptable, and we will make sure they don’t receive a single taxpayer dollar.”

Meanwhile, GOP Assemblyman Michael Novakhov said his “Not on Our Dollar!: Ending New York Funding of Hamas Violence Act,”which “would have prohibited non-profit groups from donating to Hamas and nations known to fund terrorist activity,” was killed by Democrats in the Assembly Corporations Committee, with only two Democrats — Nily Rozic and Stacy Pheffer-Amato — in support.

At the press conference Wednesday, Novakhov said it is “disgusting” that “a select group of progressive Assembly Democrats would vote to allow the funding of antisemitic terrorists such as Hamas rather than let my bill come to the floor simply because I am a Republican.”

“This bill shouldn’t be controversial and political,” Novakhov continued. “Hamas hates America, it doesn’t matter if you are a Republican or a Democrat. Every elected official in the country should support this proposal. There are only two possible reasons this was held in committee: the first is Assembly Democrats support the funding of Hamas, and the second is they are willing to let people fund Hamas for political purposes. This issue is black and white, we must do everything in our power to stand against terrorist murderers like Hamas. It is upsetting that Progressive Democrats do not feel the same.”

Another bill Republicans are proposing would prohibit state funding “for any college where a member of such college’s instructional staff directly or indirectly promotes, encourages, advocates or engages in any activity on campus in support of a terrorist organization.”

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