Gov. Hochul Warns of Legal Action Against Universities Not Addressing Antisemitism

( – Democratic Governor of New York Kathy Hochul issued an official warning to colleges and universities who fail to take action against antisemitism on their respective campuses that they will be in violation of New York Human Rights Law and face “aggressive enforcement action.”

Hochul, like other governors and many Americans, noticed that several universities have failed to properly denounce antisemitism on their campuses, including calls for genocide against Jewish people. The rise in these sentiments followed the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas and the subsequent military response from the Jewish state.

In response to these concerns, the New York governor issued a warning on Wednesday, December 13, to colleges and universities in the state who fail to crack down on those responsible that they will be in trouble themselves for violating New York’s Human Rights Law as well as the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act.

To confirm if calling for genocide on any of the 62 school campuses in New York violates their codes of conduct, Hochul contacted John King, the Chancellor of the State University of New York (SUNY). She said the chancellor confirmed such rhetoric is not tolerated, which the Chancellor of the City University of New York (CUNY) Felix Matos Rodriguez also confirmed.

Hochul said any institution not complying with state laws on human rights will become ineligible to continue receiving state or federal funding. She said schools receiving such funds have a responsibility to keep the environment free of hostility toward students based on national origin or ethnicity. She threatened that any schools “found to be in violation” would receive “aggressive enforcement action” in response.

The warning from Hochul came in reaction to her dissatisfaction with how presidents from the University of Pennsylvania, MIT, Harvard, and others responded to questions the week prior during a hearing on Capitol Hill. The presidents were criticized for not directly answering questions about pro-Palestinian activism on their campuses and potential calls for genocide against Jews.

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