Best Of

Best Pandering to Reactionary Jews

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Mayor de Blasio has done diligent work in this category in the past, but this year all he could muster was preserving sex-segregated swimming at a couple of public pools. Governor Cuomo’s June executive order, though, really showed how far he’d go in sacrificing freedom of speech to appease this constituency. EO 157 commands state institutions to divest public funds from any recipient that supports the movement to subject Israel to boycott, divestment, and sanctions for its occupation of what would otherwise be a Palestinian state. “It’s very simple,” Cuomo pronounced. “If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you.” How simple is it? Cuomo didn’t settle for just going after those who engage in BDS but also those who “promote” it. The obscure Commissioner of the Office of General Services gets to draw up a blacklist of BDS supporters, and has complete discretion over whether they ever get off it. The NYCLU has said the BDS blacklist “raises serious First Amendment concerns,” and even Americans for Peace Now, the domestic offspring of the venerable Israeli peace group and an opponent of BDS, was unimpressed, calling Cuomo’s action “the wrong way to combat BDS.” But the right way to lock down thousands of votes.