Governor Hochul Warns NY Colleges to Combat Antisemitism

(Bloomberg News/TNS) − New York Governor Kathy Hochul called on the state’s colleges to take action against all antisemitism on campus after the presidents of Harvard University and two other elite U.S. schools faced widespread criticism for failing to broadly condemn calls for the genocide of Jewish people.

Failure to address antisemitism “would constitute a violation of New York State Human Rights Law as well as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” Hochul said in a letter to New York state college presidents. She said schools that don’t comply could be “deemed ineligible” to receive state and federal money.

“The moral lapses that were evidenced by the disgraceful answers to questions posed during this week’s congressional hearing cannot and will not be tolerated here in the state of New York,” Hochul said.

Hochul’s directive adds to the growing fury over testimony that led Harvard’s Claudine Gay and Liz Magill, president of the University of Pennsylvania, to strengthen their condemnation of antisemitic language and actions on campus.

The governor said she contacted State University of New York Chancellor John King to ensure “disciplinary action” for anyone who called for genocide on the state’s 62 public campuses. She said that City University of New York President Felix Matos Rodriguez also “confirmed the same to be true for CUNY schools.”

But her directive applied to both public and private institutions.

A bipartisan group of Congress members is seeking the removal of the college leaders who testified, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth. The lawmakers wrote a letter Friday saying that the schools must draft plans to ensure Jewish and Israeli students and faculty are safe on their campuses.

MIT on Friday expressed its “full and unreserved” support for Kornbluth, adding that she has “done excellent work in leading our community, including in addressing antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of hate, which we reject utterly at MIT.”

The responses also sparked criticism from the Biden administration. “It’s unbelievable that this needs to be said: Calls for genocide are monstrous and antithetical to everything we represent as a country,” said Andrew Bates, a White House spokesman.

The furor led to co-founder of Stone Ridge Asset Management Ross Stevens to withdraw a $100 million donation to the University of Pennsylvania, his alma mater.

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