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Waste of the Day: NY State-Funded College Groups Pass Anti-Israel Resolutions

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Three New York public university student governments passed resolutions condemning the State of Israel. Did they break State law?

Topline: Student governments at three of the four largest public universities in New York passed resolutions in April urging administrators to “Boycott, Divest and Sanction” (BDS) the state of Israel.

The student governments at State University of New York, or SUNY, campuses at Binghamton, Albany and Stony Brook collectively received $11 million in funding last year and may have violated state law by using taxpayer money to support BDS resolutions.

Waste of the Day: NY State-Funded College Groups Pass Anti-Israel Resolutions
Waste of the Day 5.15.24 by Open the Books

Key facts: The BDS movement describes itself as a way to fight for Palestinian freedom from supposed “Israeli apartheid” and end Israel’s “genocidal war” against Hamas.

The Anti-Defamation League says that in practice, BDS “aims to dismantle the Jewish state and end the right to Jewish national self-determination.”

New York State’s Executive Order No. 157 bans state funds from “furthering the BDS campaign in any way, shape or form, whether directly or indirectly.”

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All three schools are funded by the state, and their student governments operate using tuition money. Binghamton’s Student Assembly collected $4.5 million last year, Albany received $2.8 million and Stony Brook got $3.7 million, according to their tax forms. Some of the funds are used to pay annual stipends to members.

The resolutions ask the schools to cut all ties with companies that support Israel, even those with a tangential connection. Stony Brook University, for example, recently received a $362,000 grant — to study clean energy — from IBM, which operates in over 170 countries including Israel.

One student at Stony Brook’s meeting about the resolution used a swastika as his profile picture on the Zoom call, according to the student-run newspaper The Statesman.

Students at Albany’s meeting shouted “Shame” at one Jewish attendee who opposed the resolution, the Albany Student Press reported.

The student government president at Buffalo State, the largest New York public university, refused to let students vote on a BDS resolution, according to The Spectrum.

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Critical quote: New York Assembly members Charles Lavine and David Weprin wrote a letter to the SUNY chancellor demanding that Binghamton revoke its Student Association’s charter for using funds in violation of Executive Order No. 157.

“[We] wonder why the Association would engage in such rash and ill-advised action without doing the most basic research into its legal authority to so act,” the letter says. “Perhaps the emotion of the moment got the better of those who advanced and voted to support the resolution. This at a time when cooler heads need to prevail.”

Supporting quote: The Binghamton Student Association disagreed that its resolution violates the law.

“New York State Executive Order 157 does not apply to the Student Association or the Student Activity Fee as it solely regulates state investments, such as pension funds, not state funding provided to Binghamton University,” the resolution reads, according to the student-run Pipe Dream.

Summary: As the FBI continues to investigate antisemitism on college campuses, it’s crucial that public money is kept away from those pushing hateful rhetoric.

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The #WasteOfTheDay is brought to you by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com.

This article was originally published by RealClearInvestigations and made available via RealClearWire.

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Adam Andrzejewski (say: Angie-eff-ski) is the CEO/founder of OpenTheBooks.com. Before dedicating his life to public service, Adam co-founded HomePages Directories, a $20 million publishing company (1997-2007). His works have been featured on the BBC, Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, C-SPAN, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, FOX News, CNN, National Public Radio (NPR), Forbes, Newsweek, and many other national media.

Today, OpenTheBooks.com is the largest private repository of U.S. public-sector spending. Mission: post "every dime, online, in real time." In 2022, OpenTheBooks.com captured nearly all public expenditures in the country, including nearly all disclosed federal government spending; 50 of 50 state checkbooks; and 25 million public employee salary and pension records from 50,000 public bodies across America.

The group's aggressive transparency and forensic auditing of government spending has led to the assembly of grand juries, indictments, and successful prosecutions; congressional briefings, hearings, and subpoenas; Government Accountability Office (GAO) audits; Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports; federal legislation; and much more.

Our Honorary Chairman - In Memoriam is U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, MD.

Andrzejewski's federal oversight work was included in the President's Budget To Congress FY2021. The budget cited his organization by name, bullet-pointed their findings, and footnoted/hyperlinked to their report.

Posted on YouTube, Andrzejewski's presentation, The Depth of the Swamp, at the Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar 2020 in Naples, Florida received 3.8 million views.

Andrzejewski has spoken at the Columbia School of Journalism, Harvard Law School and the law schools at Georgetown and George Washington regarding big data journalism. As a senior policy contributor at Forbes, Adam had nearly 20 million pageviews on 206 published investigations. In 2022, investigative fact-finding on Dr. Fauci's finances led to his cancellation at Forbes.

In 2022, Andrzejewski did 473 live television and radio interviews across broadcast, major cable platforms, and radio shows. Andrzejewski is the author of The Waste of the Day column at Real Clear Policy. The column is syndicated by Sinclair Broadcast Group, owners of nearly 200 ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX affiliates across USA.

Andrzejewski lives in Hinsdale, Illinois with his wife Kerry and three daughters. He is a lector at St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church and has finished the Chicago Marathon eight times (PR 3:58.49 in 2022).

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