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Why Are New York Charities Funding Weapons for Israeli Settlers?

Actor and activist Cynthia Nixon launches 'Stage Left' with NY Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani on his bill to ban tax breaks for NY charities violating international law.

“Charities are not intended to provide weapons to individuals and groups to kill other people, yet we’re not applying that when it comes to Palestinians.”
- NY Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani (N-36)

Zeteo launches a new series called ‘Stage Left’, hosted by award-winning actor and progressive advocate Cynthia Nixon. Nixon will be covering pivotal issues facing New York and the U.S. in this election year. 

In this first episode of ‘Stage Left’, Nixon interviews New York Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani about his 2023 bill, ‘Not On Our Dime’. Introduced last year and reintroduced in May, the bill aims to prohibit New York charities from “funding Israeli settler violence”. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently endorsed the bill.

According to ‘Not On Our Dime’, New York charities that are subsidized by the government, and give their donors tax breaks on donations, are sending large sums that go toward illegal Israeli settlement expansion and both settler and state violence against Palestinians in the West Bank and, now, Gaza as well.

A number of New York charities send more than $60 million a year to fund the violation of international law,” Mamdani tells Nixon. Organizations have “raised money for thermal drones and surveillance cameras for settlers” as well as “pistol to rifle conversion kits.

If signed into law, the bill would allow the state attorney general to sue nonprofits that are violating the bill’s restrictions for at least $1 million and revoke their tax-exempt status.

There isn't a percentage of violation of international law that we should ever accept,” Mamdani said. “And this legislation seeks to make what is implicit in many of our understandings, explicit in the law of the state of New York.

Watch their full discussion about the details of the bill, the kinds of charities that have been flagged, and what their money has been helping fund abroad - and listen to Mamdani respond to some of his critics’ accusations of antisemitism.

Stage Left with Cynthia Nixon
Actor and progressive advocate Cynthia Nixon covers the most pivotal issues facing the U.S. in this election year.
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