Monday, September 26, 2016

BDS Governor's Executive Order 157 and NY City Council Resolution No. 1058. Legislators and Lawyers, Practically, Can you use this to come up with a solution to end BDS in the Park Slope Food Coop?

bs"d

Excellent research by Raanan. Using this information, can you lawyers out there think of some way to bring the PSFC to justice and finally address,make amends and end the toxic BDS in the Park Slope Food Coop. 


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: R Isseroff <rsisseroff@yahoo.com>
Date: Sun, Sep 25, 2016 at 8:52 PM
Subject: From Raanan - BDS Exec Order and Council Resolution wording



BS"D
Below are:
1. Governors Executive Order
2. NY City Council Resolution

Both condemning BDS. 

Is there anything here to use to sue companies / organizations that support BDS? Or are they just political statements?


Best,
Raanan

June 5, 2016
Albany

No. 157: Directing State Agencies and Authorities to Divest Public Funds Supporting BDS Campaign Against Israel

TOP No. 157: Directing State Agencies and...
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New York State's ban on publicly funded travel shall take effect immediately and shall continue until such law is repealed.
WHEREAS, the State of Israel is a critical and invaluable ally of the United States; 

WHEREAS, the State of New York and Israel enjoy a special historical relationship and share a commonly forged cultural bond;

WHEREAS, the State of New York does not support boycott related tactics that are used to threaten the sovereignty and security of allies and trade partners of the United States;

WHEREAS, in 2005, elements of Palestinian civil society issued a call for a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee;

WHEREAS, the State of New York unequivocally rejects the BDS campaign and stands firmly with Israel;

WHEREAS, the State of New York will not permit its own investment activity to further the BDS campaign in any way, shape or form, whether directly or indirectly;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ANDREW M. CUOMO, Governor of the State of New York, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Laws of the State of New York, do hereby order as follows:

I. DEFINITIONS
A. "Affected State Entities" means (i) all agencies and departments over which the Governor has executive authority, and (ii) all public-benefit corporations, public authorities, boards, and commissions, for which the Governor appoints the Chair, the Chief Executive, or the majority of Board Members, except for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

B. "Boycott, divestment, or sanctions activity targeting Israel" means to engage in any activity, or promote others to engage in any activity, that is intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or otherwise limit commercial relations with Israel or persons doing business in Israel for purposes of coercing political action by, or imposing policy positions on, the government of Israel.

C. "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Office of General Services.

II. PUBLICLY AVAILABLE LIST OF BDS ASSETS

A. Not later than 180 days after the date of this Executive Order, the Commissioner shall develop a list of institutions and companies that the Commissioner determines, using credible information available to the public, participate in boycott, divestment, or sanctions activity targeting Israel, either directly or through a parent or subsidiary. Such list, when completed, shall be posted on the website of the Office of General Services.

B. The Commissioner shall update the list every 180 days.

C. Prior to placing any institution or company on the list, the Commissioner shall provide to the particular institution or company written notice of the Commissioner's intent to include the institution or company on the list, and shall allow such institution or company a period of at least 90 days to present the Commissioner with evidence that the institution or company does not in fact participate in boycott, divestment, or sanctions activity targeting Israel, either directly or through a parent or subsidiary.

D. Where, pursuant to Section II(C) above, the Commissioner makes a good faith determination that the institution or company does not in fact engage in boycott, divestment, or sanctions activity targeting Israel, either directly or through a parent or subsidiary, the Commissioner shall not include the institution or company on the list.
E. An institution or company that has been included on the Commissioner's list may request removal from the list by submitting written evidence to the Commissioner that the institution or company no longer participates in boycott, divestment, or sanctions activity targeting Israel, either directly or through a parent or subsidiary. If the Commissioner makes a good faith determination that the institution or company does in fact no longer participate in such activity, the Commissioner shall remove the institution or company from the list at the next opportunity pursuant to Section II(B) above.

III. DIVESTMENT OF CERTAIN PUBLIC FUNDS

A. All Affected State Entities are hereby directed to divest their money and assets from any investment in any institution or company that is included on the Commissioner's list pursuant to Section II above.

B. This Executive Order shall not be construed to require the premature or otherwise imprudent divestment of money and assets, but Affected State Entities shall achieve compliance with the directive in Section III(A) above no later than one year after the issuance of this Executive Order.

IV. NO FURTHER INVESTMENTS IN BDS ASSETS

A. No money or assets shall be invested by any Affected State Entity in the future in any institution or company that is included on the Commissioner's list pursuant to Section II above.

FURTHER, this Order shall take effect immediately and shall remain in effect until further notice.
G I V E N   under my hand and the Privy Seal of the State in the City of Albany this fifth day of June in the year two thousand sixteen.
BY THE GOVERNOR         
Secretary to the Governor

Translations

Contact the Governor's Press Office


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New York City also passed a resolution condemning BDS:
This is the file and associated files: (discussion and debate)

Res. No. 1058
..Title
Resolution calling on the New York State Legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign, A8220/S6086 and A9036/S6378, in relation to purchasing restrictions on persons boycotting Israel; and to amend the retirement and social security law, in relation to the investment of certain public funds in companies boycotting Israel.
..Body
By Council Members Cohen, Deutsch, Garodnick, Greenfield, Grodenchik, Kallos, Koslowitz, Lancman, Levine, Maisel, Treyger, Rosenthal, Torres and Salamanca
            Whereas, Israel is an ally of the United States and has a long-standing relationship with the City of New York; and
            Whereas, The City of New York has the largest population of Jewish residents in the nation, it is home to the largest Jewish community outside of Israel; and
            Whereas, The punitive economic measures the BDS Movement calls for are unfair to the Israeli people and harmful to the State's economy, as well as potentially damaging to Israeli-U.S. relations; and
Whereas, These boycotts undermine dialogue, economic cooperation, and political reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians; and 
            Whereas, In addition to economic consequences for Israel, the BDS Movement has been linked to the spread of anti-Semitic sentiment and rhetoric; and
Whereas, Actions taken by the BDS Movement fuels tensions, rather than creating an environment where peace can be restored; and
Whereas, A8220/S6086, sponsored by Assembly member Charles Lavine and Senator Michael Gianaris respectively, and A.9036/S6378 sponsored by Assembly member Helen Weinstein and Senator Jack Martins would amend the New York State Finance Law by adding purchasing restrictions for persons or companies that are engaged in actions that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or otherwise limit commercial relations within or controlled by the State of Israel; and
            Whereas, Pursuant to these bills, persons and entities engaged in boycotting Israel would be ineligible to contract with the State, except in limited circumstances; and
            Whereas, The Commissioner of General Services would be tasked to develop and maintain a public list of persons and companies engaged in boycotting the State of Israel; and
            Whereas, Persons or companies would be provided with written notice before being added to such public list, and would be given an opportunity to cease boycott activities; and
            Whereas, If a person or business  already contracting with the State fails to cease boycott activities, the State could take actions, including but not limited to, imposing sanctions, seeking compliance, recovering damages, or declaring the contractor in default; and 
            Whereas, Under the proposed laws, no assets of any pension or annuity fund under the jurisdiction of the New York State Comptroller, would be invested in any bank or financial institution that directly or through a subsidiary boycotts Israel; and
Whereas, The proposed laws would also divest public dollars or assets of the Common Retirement Fund from stocks, securities, or other obligations of any institution or company boycotting Israel; and
            Whereas, The BDS Movement and its agenda is damaging the cause of peace, justice, equality, democracy, and human rights for all people in the Middle East; now, therefore, be it
            Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York call on the New York State Legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign, A8220/S6086 and A936/S6378, in relation to purchasing restrictions on persons boycotting Israel; and to amend the retirement and social security law, in relation to the investment of certain public funds in companies boycotting Israel.
LS#7125
03/18/2016


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Articles:
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Israel-boycotting companies could face wrath of N.Y. pension fund
DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU
Wednesday, June 29, 2016, 4:39 PM

The boycott campaign is intended to pressure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into allowing concessions to Palestine.

(Sebastian Scheiner/AP)
ALBANY — Companies that take part in an anti-Israel boycott campaign may find themselves boycotted by New York's pension fund, the state controller warned Wednesday.
State Controller Thomas DiNapoli, who serves as the sole trustee of the state's $178 billion retirement fund, said his staff would review the fund's portfolio and "take appropriate steps" against companies involved in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.
"Attempts to harm Israel's economy can put our investments there at risk," DiNapoli said. "We're putting companies engaged in BDS activities on notice that there will be consequences if their anti-Israel activities expose our investments to financial harm."
The campaign is meant to put economic pressure on Israel for its treatment of Palestine. But critics charge it is anti-Semitic and an attack on the legitimacy of Israel.
DiNapoli said any existing investment in a company taking part in the BDS movement will be reviewed and could ultimately be liquidated if the company does not change its ways.
Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli warned

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli warned "Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions" advocates that such moves were economically dangerous.

(Mike Groll/AP)
Other companies taking part in BDS activity could be added to a restricted list that prohibits future investment, added DiNapoli, who visited Israel in November 2015.
DiNapoli's move comes after Gov. Cuomo, earlier this month, signed an executive order that bars the state from doing business with entities that back the BDS movement.
The pension fund has approximately $532 million in Israel-based investments as part of its portfolio.



City Council Passes Anti-BDS Resolution Amid Tense Debate Over Movement's Legitimacy

By Madina Toure • 09/14/16 5:57pm
New York politicians, led by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, held a rally decrying Donald Trump at City Hall today.
New York politicians, led by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, held a rally decrying Donald Trump at City Hall today. (Photo: William Alatriste for New York City Council)
The City Council passed a resolution today seeking to condemn a movement calling for a boycott of Israel over its treatment of Palestinians, following a tense, racially-charged debate that saw Council members disagreeing over the movement's objectives and rights.
The resolution, introduced by Councilman Andy Cohen in May, condemns all efforts to delegitimize the state of Israel and the global movement to boycott, divest from and sanction the people of Israel. 
The resolution says the Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement—known as BDS—ignores the world's "myriad despotic regimes," that BDS movement leaders and supporters engage in "unacceptable anti-Semitic rhetoric" but that it believes both Israelis and Palestinians "have the right to live in safe and secure states, free from fear and violence, with mutual recognition." 
The heated discussion saw Council members frequently surpassing the one-minute speaking time limit, and being told by Public Advocate Letitia James—who tried to cut members off when their time was up—to continue in general discussion.
Councilman David Greenfield, who is Jewish, stressed that the Council is not taking away people's First Amendment rights. He says "those activists still have the right to be bigots, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic," but that the Council would be "simply condemning anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activity."
"All we're saying in the Council today is, for those of you who have the beliefs, we in the Council condemn you and your beliefs and your actions," Greenfield said. 
But proponents of the BDS movement—which include civil rights attorneys, community groups and racial and social justice activists—say the resolution curtails freedom of speech in New York around what they say is Israel's abuses of Palestinian rights. 
Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo pointed out that when Council members asked to have a resolution about Boko Haram, the militant anti-education group that kidnappped Nigerian schoolgirls, their request was denied.
She also said that she is where she is today because her ancestors "had the right to boycott" and blasted the manner in which the bill was introduced to the body. (She said there was "no thoughtful education in terms of conversations and opportunities to speak about the issue free of judgment.")
"When I requested that resolution we drafted, I was told that we do not as a body intervene in international affairs," Cumbo said. "I was angry and I was upset but I respected that the body decided that this was not the proper space in order to deal with international affairs."
Councilwoman Inez Barron, who defended the BDS movement's principles, also pointed out what she perceived to be hypocrisy. "We were told 'no,'" Barron said. "So it's interesting now for fear perhaps of being labeled anti-Semitic, that this gets to come to the floor."
But Councilman Barry Grodenchik argued that the resolution is not hampering people's First Amendment rights.
"This is an expression that we are expressing our First Amendment rights as elected officials in the city," he said.
But even he admitted that the City Council's practice of not hearing resolutions on international issues may need to be reversed.
"Perhaps it's time we revisit the international, discussion on international issues here," Grodenchik continued. "We are the most important city in the most important nation on earth. People look to us still they still see that lady standing…she's standing for liberty and we have to stand up for liberty and justice."
Councilman Stephen Levin, who co-sponsored the resolution, said that as someone who identifies as Jewish and believes in the state of Israel as a national home for Jews, he "was and am very conflicted about the City Council taking on perhaps the most intractable issue in the world."
But he said the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 factored into his decision, he said, noting that he supports a two-state solution.
"I didn't know then why it was so important, and so tragic, but in time I came to realize what Rabin's assassination at the hands of a radical, anti-peace Jew has come to represent: it was a victory of hate over love, perpetual discord over peace," Levin said.
In June, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order banning the state from contracting with entities that support boycotts and divestment campaigns. Mayor Bill de Blasio himself rejected the BDS movement last month and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is among the resolution's supporters. 
Mark-Viverito rejected the premise that the resolution hurts free speech, noting that the movement is "philosophically against the right of Israel to exist."
"That is not what we're doing here," she said.
At a hearing on the resolution last week by the City Council's Committee on Contracts, officers kicked out opponents of the resolution who were shouting.
Linda Sarsour, a prominent Palestinian-American activist, said Council members "have failed us" by voting for a resolution that violates First Amendment rights.
"The fact that members of the City Council decided to antagonize human rights activists when they should be focused on bringing New Yorkers together is irresponsible," Sarsour said in a statement.

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Boycott Israel City Council hearing gets heated; dozens removed
The City Council is proposing a resolution which would condemn "all efforts to delegitimize the state of Israel and the global movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the people of Israel.

The City Council is proposing a resolution which would condemn "all efforts to delegitimize the state of Israel and the global movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the people of Israel."

(LEFTERIS PITARAKIS/AP)
A holy war broke out at a City Council hearing Thursday over a resolution to condemn the movement to boycott Israel, .
The hearing grew so heated that City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal, the Contracts Committee chairwoman hosting the Middle East shout-fest, at one point called for everyone in the crowded chambers to do a "deep yoga breath."
She counted down to three — and let out a loud exhale into the microphone.
It didn't work.
Cops tossed out dozens of people during the hours-long hearing, including the entire top-floor balcony in the Council chambers, which was full of people who oppose the measure.
The resolution — introduced in May by Councilman Andy Cohen(D-Bronx) — condemns "all efforts to delegitimize the state of Israel and the global movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the people of Israel."
It notes the movement, known as BDS, goes beyond protesting the government's policies because it targets all facets of Israeli society, including "academic, cultural, and civil society institutions, as well as individual Israeli citizens."
"At the heart of the BDS movement ... is suppression of viewpoints and free speech," said City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Queens), who supports the resolution.
NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

Arab civil rights activist Linda Sarsour, shown here in 2014, says the proposed resolution violates the right to protest.

(Susan Watts/New York Daily News)
But opponents say it violates the right to protest.
"Whatever happened to, 'I don't agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend your right to say it?'" said Linda Sarsour, the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York and a BDS supporter.
The resolution originally stated that the Council supports efforts by the Legislature to ban the state from doing business with companies that support the BDS movement.
But that language was removed to simply say the Council condemns the movement.
The measure has 33 supporters, including Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
The movement "is a harmful, exclusionary campaign aimed at undermining the unbreakable bond between Israel and the United States," she said.
Earlier this year, Gov. Cuomo ordered state agencies not to do business with companies calling for boycotts of Israeli goods. 
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