Anti-Israel campus protest backers raked in $2.7M in lefty NYC Council pork funds

Anti-Israel protesters waving Palestinian flags and marching in a crowd in Manhattan, City Council hearing, Comptroller Brad Lander, Councilwoman Inna Vernikov
Anti-Israel protesters waving Palestinian flags and marching in a crowd in Manhattan, City Council hearing, Comptroller Brad Lander, Councilwoman Inna Vernikov
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New York taxpayers have shelled out at least $2.7 million in political pork over the past decade — including $430,000-plus since last July — to five nonprofits that helped organize or support radical anti-Israel student protests.

A Post examination of City Council “discretionary funds” show members funneled nearly $2.5 million alone since 2014 to the Manhattan-based Muslim Community Network, which offers “safety-training” seminars to protestors.

The group also posted some spirited advice on social media last week on how protestors should refuse police searches and not be “fooled” by the “’good cop/bad cop’ technique.”

City Council members funneled nearly $2.5 million in the past decade to Muslim Community Network, which offers “safety-training” seminars to protestors. Gregory P. Mango
City Council members funneled nearly $2.5 million in the past decade to Muslim Community Network, which offers “safety-training” seminars to protestors. Gregory P. Mango

Council members delivered $410,818 of the MCN’s money this fiscal year to fund salary and programming costs, including $245,000 directly from Speaker Adrienne Adams.

Other nonprofits assisting the protesters who’ve gotten a piece of the discretionary pie include The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ New York chapter and the ironically-named Jews for Racial and Economic Justice.

The latter — which received $77,000 — helped organize radical protests in and around Columbia University, City College of New York and other NYC college campuses.

Most of the pork — $60,000 — was dished out by Comptroller Brad Lander from 2016 to 2019, when the Democratic socialist was still a Brooklyn councilman.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ local chapter feasted on $108,511, the vast majority distributed through a first-of-its-kind initiative called “Communities of Color Nonprofit Stabilization Fund” that NYC Council members created to help Black, Latino and Asian-led nonprofits.

The Muslim civil rights group has outspokenly called for all criminal charges against the Columbia and CCNY protesters to be dropped and condemned the NYPD for shutting down the anti-Israel rallies.

On Friday, the group posted a link to a script on social media and instructed people to follow it when calling local prosecutors and asking them to drop the charges.

City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams gave $245,000 to MCN in the past year. Gabriella Bass
City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams gave $245,000 to MCN in the past year. Gabriella Bass

The Center for Popular Democracy and Peace Action New York State were allocated $20,000 each in Council funds, records show.

Councilwoman Inna Vernikov, a Brooklyn Republican and avid Israel supporter, said it’s time the Council takes a serious look on how it spends its pork-barrel funds.

“We need a complete overhaul of the clearly weak standard of review for organizations that are able to take city money — our money,” she said.

Councilwoman Inna Vernikov, an avid Israel supporter, said the Council should examine how it spends its pork-barrel funds. Gabriella Bass
Councilwoman Inna Vernikov, an avid Israel supporter, said the Council should examine how it spends its pork-barrel funds. Gabriella Bass

“By funding these innocuous-sounding organizations, we are literally paying for a systematic Marxist infestation that is finally carrying out a well-coordinated revolution that is causing chaos and disruption to society,” she added. “It’s enraging but entirely unsurprising.”

Doug Kellogg, director of the conservative anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform State Projects, was also flabbergasted upon learning how much tax dollars the Council sent the anti-Israel groups.

“New York City’s budget faces years of multi-billion-dollar deficits, and residents pay the highest combined income tax rate in the nation,” said Kellogg. “But left-wing politicians keep the taxpayer money flowing to their favored non-profits, while pushing cuts on police and public safety, all to help militant protestors destroy the city.”

Comptroller Brad Lander gave $60,000 to Jews for Racial and Economic Justice when he was still a Brooklyn councilman. Matthew McDermott
Comptroller Brad Lander gave $60,000 to Jews for Racial and Economic Justice when he was still a Brooklyn councilman. Matthew McDermott

In November, The Post reported Big Apple taxpayers shelled out nearly $9 million since 2010 to four nonprofits that helped spearhead anti-Israel protests on NYC streets.

More than $4.25 million — or nearly half — was awarded through Council discretionary funds, including nearly $2 million after a November 2021 general election spawned a mass influx of socialists and other new far-left members to the legislative body.

The big winners still doing city business include Tides Center — an advocacy group heavily funded by far-left billionaire kingmaker George Soros.

Big Apple taxpayers have shelled out nearly $9 million since 2010 to nonprofits that helped spearhead anti-Israel protests on the city’s streets. Carlos Chiossone/ZUMA Press Wire / SplashNews.com
Big Apple taxpayers have shelled out nearly $9 million since 2010 to nonprofits that helped spearhead anti-Israel protests on the city’s streets. Carlos Chiossone/ZUMA Press Wire / SplashNews.com

It’s earned more than $1.2 million through contracts at the Department of Education and other city agencies, but a bulk of its contracts were awarded over a decade ago, records show,

City Council spokesperson Mara Davis defended the legislative body’s pork spending, saying it “funds hundreds of non-profit organizations to support programs that serve New Yorkers across our diverse city. This includes “hate crime prevention that combats anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and all other forms of hate with programs that reach tens of thousands of students,” she said.

Reps for Lander and the five nonprofits did not return messages.