Griffo votes to fight anti-Semitism by preventing state funds from supporting discrimination

ALBANY – State Senator Joseph Griffo joined the New York State Senate this week in fighting against anti-Semitism by preventing any state funds from being used to harm Israel and other American allies.

As reports of anti-Semitic threats sweep across New York and the nation, Senator Griffo, R-Rome, on Wednesday voted to pass two bills in the Senate that would firmly stand against hateful intolerance on college campuses and within organizations that discriminate against Israel.

“We condemn this pattern of deplorable threats that has spread fear within the Jewish communities across our state, and New York will not turn a blind eye to such intolerance,” Senator Griffo said. “We reaffirm our commitment to work with our state and federal law enforcement agencies to hold accountable the people who perpetrate these acts of hate.”

Senator Griffo added, “The tax dollars of New Yorkers must never be used to fuel the hate and intolerance that target the Jewish people, whether it’s on college campuses or within organizations that seek to discriminate against Israel. New York State is no place for the hateful acts of cowards, and I am proud to join the Senate in doing everything we can to ensure that these intolerant groups do not get a single cent of state support.” 


Bill S2492 would expand existing state law to prevent New York from entering into a state contract or investment with any company or entity that seeks to boycott or economically-harm Israel or other American allies. State law currently prohibits New York from directly engaging in any such international boycotts, yet the state may unknowingly and indirectly support these boycotts by providing state funds to those businesses, individuals or organizations that have a discriminatory agenda. New Jersey, Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina have adopted similar laws to ensure that their taxpayers are not paying to support these entities.


Bill S2493 would prohibit student organizations at public colleges and universities from receiving public funding if they participate in hate-speech or advocate for boycotts of Israel and American allied nations. Demonstrations, protests and discrimination by publicly funded student groups at several CUNY and SUNY campuses in recent years have targeted Jewish students and other supporters of Israel, creating an intimidating and discriminatory learning environment. The legislation would not violate free speech, but instead would merely prevent the state from financially supporting the activity of intolerant college organizations.

Both bills will be sent to the Assembly.