Senator Jack M. Martins (R-7th Senate District, pictured left center) recently joined with over 150 Great Neck residents at a forum designed to help fight anti-Semitism. The event was sponsored by Stand With Us, the Iranian-American Jewish Federation of New York, the Sephardic Heritage Alliance, and the United Mashadi Jewish Community of America in partnership with 11 local synagogues.
Senator Martins, along with Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Great Neck Mayor Pedram Bral and Flower Hill Mayor Elaine Phillips, took part in the discussion about combating the continuing harassment and intimidation of Jewish students on college campuses by groups supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS is a movement designed to cripple Israel’s economy as a way to force it to change its domestic security policies.
Senator Martins discussed legislation he sponsored, which was passed by the New York State Senate, that would prohibit the State from investing in or doing business with entities that engage in or promote boycotts of Israel or other American-allied nations. The legislation served as a catalyst for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order directing state entities to divest all public funds supporting BDS, as well as an order by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli to review its portfolio for pro-BDS companies and take appropriate actions to protect state investments. He also talked about his legislation that would ban student groups from receiving state funding if they engage in hate speech, including advocating boycotts of Israel or other American allies.