First and foremost, our focus must remain with Israel. It is critical, at this moment in time and always, to stand strong against the horror and terror that invaded Israel – and, unequivocally, to stand strong in support of our ally.
Our prayers go out to those who were brutally and unimaginably murdered by Hamas terrorists – children and their mothers and fathers and grandmothers – and to the injured and those who have been taken hostage, including American citizens.
There are many reasons to be deeply concerned. The ramifications are widespread, on numerous levels. Yet it is fundamentally important to always remember that while these events may seem to take place a world away, the consequences reverberate around the globe, including right here at home, and this evil must be addressed step by step by step.
Just as the migrant crisis at our nation’s southern border has now become a New York State border crisis, the Hamas terror attacks now have deeply troubling implications for New York State government itself.
In the immediate aftermath of the Hamas invasion of Israel, a political party known as the New York City Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) rallied in support of Hamas. It was a disgusting display of support for the brutality and evil that befell Israelis and Americans, and we cannot stand for it.
Alarmingly, and I have noted it any number of times in this column over the past several years, the New York City DSA has gained footholds at the highest levels of New York government and are influencing state policies and the overall direction of this state. That includes several members of the state Senate Democrat Majority who are closely affiliated with this far-left political movement. Their failure to immediately denounce the Hamas support rally is disturbing enough, however, it also serves to highlight their ongoing efforts to deliver a far-left, radical, socialist political agenda that is fundamentally impacting criminal justice, health care, taxation, fiscal priorities, environmental strategies, and other policies that, in my view and the view of many others, severely weakens and threatens the future of our state.
In response to the New York City DSA support for Hamas, Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt, speaking on behalf of our entire Republican Conference, said, “We have watched Hamas terrorists injure and kill hundreds of innocent men, women and children and shamelessly parade these victims through the streets, showing not a hint of remorse for their grotesque actions. Every human being with a shred of morality and decency is recoiling from these sights. Yet the New York City Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) held a rally over the weekend to support these terrorists.”
Our conference delivered a letter to the leader of the Senate Democrat Majority calling for the immediate removal of three New York City, Democratic Socialist senators from their committee assignments and any leadership roles. Additionally, we have requested that a special session be convened to take the necessary steps to consider a vote for expulsion of these senators pursuant to Senate Rule 9.
New York State Senate Rule 9, states that “each house shall determine the rules of its own proceedings, and be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members….” Per New York Legislative Law, Section 3 provides that each house of the State Legislature “has the power to expel any of its members, after the report of a committee to inquire into the charges against him shall have been made.”
Our letter states, “It is our Conference’s position that these individuals have disqualified themselves by standing in support of war crimes, terrorism and a terrorist group, over our allies, the nation of Israel. Their unwillingness to condemn the rally and the DSA shows a lack of moral judgment at best and anti-semitism at worst. We will not stand in support of anti-semitism and terrorism.”
In other words, as an institution, it is vitally important for the New York State Senate to take a clear, convincing, and unequivocal stand at this moment in time.
Senator Tom O’Mara represents New York’s 58th District which covers all of Chemung, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga and Yates counties, and a portion of Allegany County