Sorry, I am a bit late on this but it came out while I was out of the country. While the New York AG is going after ExxonMobil and a number of think tanks to try to prosecute them, or at least intimidate them, for their past speech on climate issues, apparently the state of New York is also going after college students who want to boycott Israel.
I have never thought much of the BDS movement -- while like most western governments Israel certainly has its flaws, I find it bizarre that the BDS movement treats Israel like it's the worst government on Earth. In particular, I am amazed that BDS folks frequently, while they condemn Israel, act as apologists for neighboring Arab nations whose human rights records are objectively far worse.
All that being said, if they don't want to have anything to do with Israel and want to advocate for others to take the same approach, they are welcome to do so in a free country. But now there is this:
Continuing Gov. Andrew Cuomo's crusade against New Yorkers who don't support Israel, state Sen. Jack Martins (R-Nassau County) wants to ban public colleges and universities from funding pro-Palestinian student groups. A new bill sponsored by Martins would require state and city schools to defund any campus organization that supports efforts to "boycott, divest from, and sanction" (BDS) Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. The BDS movement has become popular on U.S. and U.K. campuses.
Martins' bill would also prohibit the funding of campus groups that support economic boycotts of any American-allied nation, although this bit seems designed to distract from his true goal: preventing anti-Israel sentiment on campus. In an interview with the New York Daily News, Martins referred to calls to boycott Israel as "hate speech" and "anti-Semitism" and said the state legislature has "no choice but to step in and prevent taxpayer dollars being used to promote" such sentiment.
If a state institution is going to fund student groups, then it needs to do so in a viewpoint neutral manner.
The only teeny tiny good part of this story is that perhaps a few campus Leftists who want to ban everything that they consider hate speech might have an epiphany that giving the government this sort of power is a bad idea, since one can never guarantee that one's own fellow travelers are going to be writing the hate speech definitions.