Governor Kathy Hochul Calls out “Deeply Disturbing” Anti-Semitism in New York
Governor Kathy Hochul vowed that those who commit hate crimes against the Jewish community will be "prosecuted and held accountable."
Three schools in New York State have reported incidents of antisemitism and Islamophobia.
Cornell, Cooper Union and Columbia are under investigation by the the U.S. Department of Education after the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas attacked Israel in early October.
Incidents include a Cornell student, identified as Patrick Dai, who was charged with making threats against Jewish classmates as well as the suspension of pro-Palestinian student groups at Columbia. After its investigation, the Department of Education will offer recommendations to the schools and they could lose federal funding if they don't comply.
Speaking at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, the governor expressed how deeply disturbed she is by the amount of hatred being exhibited by some of the state's youngest residents.
Deeply, Deeply Disturbing
Speaking to a pool of reporters, the governor was asked about the apparent rise of anti-Jewish rhetoric in schools.
The governor said she has called upon all universities in the state, as well as city leaders and presidents of both private and public institutions to ensure they're doing "everything they can" to stop anti-Semitism in its tracks.
She says it's important that Jewish students are safe and, more importantly, feel safe:
We put in $50 million to help local law enforcement to police campuses like Syracuse if the university needs it, we put in more information and money for security. Now, when I was at Cornell, we brought in money for security cameras because there was a direct threat on Jewish students at Cornell University.
Governor Hochul then issued a warning to those who would act out of hatred:
These are very, very frightening times. I'll respect anyone's right to protest and freedom of speech when it crosses into a hate crime. Those individuals, whether they're students or not, need to be prosecuted and held accountable... It's a deeply, deeply disturbing time for students on campus. I understand the anxiety, and I'm continue to stand up with my voice to call it out and bring the resources to law enforcement to make sure we stop it.
While the reporter focused their question on hate crimes against the Jewish community, a recent survey by Siena College found anti-Semitism and Islamophobia is surging in the Empire State.
About 75 percent of New York voters agreed Jewish residents are experiencing an increase in antisemitism. The same number of voters felt hatred against Jewish people increased after the Hamas attack on Israel.
Six in 10 voters also said the Hamas attacks on Israeli citizens should be condemned. About 54 percent of respondents added Israel's counterattack is justified.
Conversely, 16 percent felt there isn't any anti-Semitism in the state and 25 percent of respondents said the attacks were caused by Israel's treatment of Palestinians.
When asked about Muslim residents, 62 percent of respondents agreed they are experiencing increased Islamophobia in the wake of the October 7 Hamas attack. About 30 percent of respondents also felt the death of Palestinian civilians should be condemned.
Don Levy, director of the Siena College Research Institute, said of this new research:
New Yorkers see both antisemitism and, to a slightly lesser degree, Islamophobia as widespread, and both have increased since the October 7 Hamas attacks in Israel. A strong majority comes down on the side of Israel in this ongoing war. Majorities from every region and party say that the Hamas attacks should be condemned without hesitation. While this view is held by two-thirds of white voters, black and Latino voters are closely divided between the choices of condemnation without explanation, and condemnation along with placing blame on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
Support appears to be growing for a short-term ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, so that hostages can be exchanged and civilians can safely escape the bloodshed.
The United States and Qatar is currently brokering an agreement between Hamas and Israel to pause the war. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is resisting the calls.
At this time, it is unknown if a ceasefire will happen.
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