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A06943 Summary:

BILL NOA06943
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORMamdani
 
COSPNSRShrestha, Forrest, Mitaynes, Gallagher
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add 116, amd 102 & 112, N-PC L
 
Establishes the "Not on our dime!: Ending New York funding of Israeli settler violence act" to prohibit not-for-profit corporations from engaging in unauthorized support of Israeli settlement activity; allows for recovery of a civil penalty by the state attorney general; creates a private right of action for violations.
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A06943 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A6943              Revised 5/16/2023
 
SPONSOR: Mamdani
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the not-for-profit corporation law, in relation to establishing the "Not on our dime!: Ending New York funding of Israeli settler violence act" to prohibit not-for-profit corporations from engaging in unauthorized support of Israeli settlement activity   PURPOSE: This bill adds a new section to the not-for-profit corporation law prohibiting not-for-profit corporations from aiding or abetting activity in support of illegal Israeli settlements in violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 of this bill amends the not-for-profit corporation law by adding a new section 116 to make illegal support of Israeli settlement activity by not-for-profits in New York State. This section elucidates the meaning of settlement activity as aiding and abetting activity by the government of Israel that is illegal under any of the international treaties signed at Geneva on August 12, 1949, or any protocols, and provides specific examples of such activity: * Unlawful transfer of Israeli civilians into occupied territory * Acts of violence committed by Israeli citizens against protected persons living in occupied territory * Forced transfer or eviction of protected persons within occupied territory, or eviction from occupied territory * Appropriation, expropriation, seizure, destruction, demolition, dismantlement, or confiscation, in whole or in part, of private Palesti- nian land or residential, business, social, or public structures or infrastructure, inhabited or uninhabited Parts C and D also assert civil recovery rights by the Attorney General or private individuals against not-for-profit corporations or their agents, officers or directors for knowingly engaging in violations of this bill, which may be brought within 10 years. Section 2 amends subparagraph 3-b of paragraph (a) of section 102 of the not-for-profit corporation law to update the definition of "charitable purposes." Section 3 amends paragraph (a) of section 112 of the not-for-profit corporation by adding a new subparagraph 11 to grant the Attorney Gener- al the power to dissolve a non-profit corporation for violation of this bill, section 116. Section 4 sets forth the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention provides that an "Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies." It also prohibits the "individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory." Article 53 and 147 of the Convention penalize and prohibit the appropriation or destruction of property in the absence of military necessity. However, contrary to this well-established law, the State of Israel has engaged in a pattern of establishing illegal settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since its mili- tary occupation of the region in 1967. The European Union (EU) has explicitly recognized that "settlement building anywhere in the occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, is illegal under inter- national law," and "constitutes an obstacle to peace." Nonetheless, in the words of Amnesty International, "Israel's policy of settling its civilians in occupied Palestinian territory and displacing the local population contravenes fundamental rules of international humanitarian law." (1) Indeed, the international consensus, since 1967, has been that these Israeli. settlements are unlawful. As early as 1980, UN Security Council Resolution 465 called on the State of Israel "to dismantle the existing settlements and, in particular, to cease, on an urgent basis, the estab- lishment, construction and planning of settlements in the Arab territo- ries occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem." The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention have reaffirmed that settlements violate international humanitarian law. The illegality of the settle- ments was similarly reaffirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 2334, passed in December 2016, which condemns the "flagrant violation" of international law, and reiterates the Security Council's call on the State of Israel to cease all settlement activities in the occupied territories. Despite the clear illegality of this pattern of conduct, which has led to the expulsion and dispossession of Palestinians from their land (often in a violent manner), this practice has continued. Moreover, these illegal settlement activities have been funded by organizations here in New York State. In fact, between 2017 and 2019 alone, organiza- tions that are known to primarily fund illegal settler activities fundraised over $144 million in New York State. This funding stream is known to sustain illegal settler activity, and has enabled settlements to significantly expand in recent years. Although they are in direct violation of international humanitarian and human rights law, these organizations masquerade as charities, and funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to illegal settlement activities, while enjoying tax-exempt status in New York. In short, New York State is effectively subsidizing illegal activity abroad, and has been complicit in violent dislocations of Palestinian people. This bill clarifies that New York State chari- ties cannot subsidize such illegal activity, and prevents non-profit corporations from abusing their tax-exempt status to reinforce and further the State of Israel's illegal settlement expansion. (1)   HTTBS://WWW.AMNESTV.ORCI/EN/LATESTICAMPAIQNS/2019/01/ CHAPTER-3-IS- RAELI-SETTLEMENTS-ANDINTERNATIONAL-LAW/   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: No prior legislative history.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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A06943 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          6943
 
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                       May 9, 2023
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by M. of A. MAMDANI -- read once and referred to the Commit-
          tee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions
 
        AN ACT to amend the  not-for-profit  corporation  law,  in  relation  to
          establishing the "Not on our dime!: Ending New York funding of Israeli
          settler  violence  act"  to  prohibit not-for-profit corporations from
          engaging in unauthorized support of Israeli settlement activity
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  Short  title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
     2  the "Not on our dime!:  Ending  New  York  funding  of  Israeli  settler
     3  violence act".
     4    §  2.  The  not-for-profit  corporation law is amended by adding a new
     5  section 116 to read as follows:
     6  § 116. Unauthorized support of Israeli settlement activity.
     7    (a) Definitions. Notwithstanding any other provision  of  law  to  the
     8  contrary,  for  the  purposes of this section, the following terms shall
     9  have the following meanings:
    10    (1) "Unauthorized support of Israeli settlement activity" means aiding
    11  and abetting activity by the government of Israel, or  citizen  thereof,
    12  that is illegal under any of the international treaties signed at Geneva
    13  on  the  twelfth  day of August, nineteen forty-nine, as amended, or any
    14  protocol to such convention to which  the  United  States  is  a  party,
    15  including:
    16    (i)  the unlawful transfer of Israeli civilians into occupied territo-
    17  ry;
    18    (ii) acts of violence committed by Israeli citizens against  protected
    19  persons living in occupied territory, including but not limited to homi-
    20  cide,  assault,  and  other  acts of physical violence; use of firearms,
    21  explosives, or other deadly force; the killing or  harming  of  animals,
    22  livestock,  trees,  or  crops;  the destruction, damage, or vandalism of
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD10667-04-3

        A. 6943                             2
 
     1  Palestinian property; or blocking access to Palestinian lands by fencing
     2  off land, erecting structures, or other means;
     3    (iii)  the  forced  transfer  or  eviction of protected persons within
     4  occupied territory, or the deportation of protected persons  from  occu-
     5  pied territory;
     6    (iv)  the  unilateral  acquisition  and annexation of land in occupied
     7  territory; and/or
     8    (v) the appropriation, expropriation,  seizure,  destruction,  demoli-
     9  tion,  dismantlement,  or  confiscation, in whole or in part, of private
    10  Palestinian land or residential, business, social, or public  structures
    11  or  infrastructure,  inhabited or uninhabited, including but not limited
    12  to homes, apartment buildings, retail shops, food markets, animal  shel-
    13  ters,  walls,  warehouses, water pipes, water storage facilities, sewage
    14  systems, electrical lines, roads, medical facilities, and network facil-
    15  ities.
    16    (2) "Occupied territory" means the Israeli-occupied West Bank, includ-
    17  ing East Jerusalem.
    18    (3) "Protected persons" includes civilians in  occupied  territory  in
    19  accordance with international humanitarian law.
    20    (b)  Unauthorized  support  of Israeli settlement activity prohibited.
    21  Unauthorized support of Israeli settlement activity by a  not-for-profit
    22  corporation  shall be prohibited as against public policy and inconsist-
    23  ent with any charitable purpose.
    24    (c) Recovery of civil penalty by attorney general. The attorney gener-
    25  al may bring an action in the name and on behalf of  the  state  against
    26  any  trustee, director, manager, or other officer or agent of a not-for-
    27  profit corporation, or against a not-for-profit corporation, foreign  or
    28  domestic,  to  recover  a  sum  of not less than one million dollars for
    29  knowingly engaging in unauthorized support of Israeli settlement  activ-
    30  ities  in violation of paragraph (b) of this section.  Such action shall
    31  be brought no later than ten years after the commission of the act  upon
    32  which such action is based.
    33    (d)  Private  right of action. An individual damaged by a violation of
    34  this section may bring a civil action  against  any  trustee,  director,
    35  manager,  or  other officer or agent of a not-for-profit corporation, or
    36  against a not-for-profit corporation, foreign  or  domestic,  to  enjoin
    37  unauthorized  support of Israeli settlement activities by a not-for-pro-
    38  fit corporation in violation  of  paragraph  (b)  of  this  section  and
    39  recover  actual  damages for knowingly engaging in such violations. Such
    40  action shall be brought no later than ten years after the commission  of
    41  the  act  upon which such action is based. A court may also award attor-
    42  neys' fees to a prevailing plaintiff.
    43    § 3. Subparagraph 3-b of paragraph (a) of section 102 of the  not-for-
    44  profit corporation law, as amended by chapter 23 of the laws of 2014, is
    45  amended to read as follows:
    46    (3-b)  "Charitable purposes" of a corporation means one or more of the
    47  following  purposes:  charitable,  educational,  religious,  scientific,
    48  literary,  cultural  or  for  the  prevention  of cruelty to children or
    49  animals. The term "charitable  purposes"  shall  not  include  any  acts
    50  committed in violation of section one hundred sixteen of this article.
    51    §  4.  Paragraph  (a) of section 112 of the not-for-profit corporation
    52  law is amended by adding a new subparagraph 11 to read as follows:
    53    (11) To dissolve a charitable corporation for  violations  of  section
    54  one hundred sixteen of this article.
    55    § 5. This act shall take effect immediately.
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