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Hochul warns New York colleges that calls for ‘genocide’ of Jews won’t be tolerated

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(The Center Square) — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is threatening to punish the state’s universities if they don’t discipline students and faculty who call for the genocide of Jews.

In a letter to New York college leaders, Hochul warned that the state would take enforcement action against any schools that allow antisemitism to go unpunished, including a move to withhold federal funding.

Hochul’s threat followed testimony by the presidents of the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who failed to offer a clear answer when asked if calling for genocide against Jews violates the schools’ codes of conduct.

“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,” she wrote in the letter.

Over the weekend, UPenn President Liz Magill resigned amid the criticism of testimony, with Harvard President Claudine Gay and MIT President Sally Kornbluth also facing calls to step down.

“I was shocked to see the presidents of several prominent universities – current leaders that are responsible for educating young minds who will grow into the leaders of tomorrow – fail to clearly and unequivocally denounce antisemitism and calls for genocide of the Jewish people on their college campuses,” Hochul wrote in the letter.

Hochul said she has received assurances from SUNY Chancellor John King and CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez that such speech would constitute a violation and “lead to swift disciplinary action.”

But the Democrat said she would activate the state’s Division of Human Rights to take aggressive enforcement action against schools that don’t act on threats of violence against Jewish students and refer possible Title VI violations to the federal government.

President Joe Biden has condemned what he says is an alarming increase in antisemitic and anti-Islamic incidents at schools and colleges. The White House has been talking with campus law enforcement officials to offer support and address threats.

New York authorities said the number of bias incidents investigated by the New York Police Department Hate Crime Task Force increased by 124% in October, led by a 214% spike in anti-Jewish incidents.

There have also been several high-profile attacks on Muslim and Palestinian New Yorkers, with hate crimes against Asian New Yorkers remaining elevated over the past few years.

President Joe Biden has condemned what he says is an alarming increase in antisemitic and anti-Islamic incidents at schools and colleges. The White House says it has been talking with campus law enforcement officials to offer support and address threats.

FBI Director Christopher Wray warned recently of “violent extremists” in the U.S. and abroad drawing inspiration from the Hamas attack.

In Congress, House Republicans have said they plan to conduct an investigation into the colleges and other elite universities following an uptick of threats against Jewish students.

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