AP Photo/Hans Pennink

NY Gov. Kathy Hochul Pleads With Pro-Hamas Agitators at Columbia to ‘Find Their Humanity’

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul took to social media on Monday to address the anti-Israel protests and antisemitism in general that have exploded on the campus of Columbia University in recent weeks as students protest the war between Hamas and Israel. Hochul stated in a video on X, that 

“My number one job is to keep the people of the state safe. And right now, there are many students not feeling safe on campus.” Hochul said the focus is on the state to do two things, “protect public safety and security, enforce human rights laws, also protect people’s rights to peacefully assemble and to have freedom of speech.” Hochul also stated “I met with a group of students. Students are scared. They’re afraid to walk on campus. They don’t deserve that. They deserve to be in an environment that is free from discrimination, as required by state human rights laws.” 

Anti-Israel protests on college and university campuses have become increasingly aggressive. A video on X shows a group of anti-Israel protesters at Yale University physically preventing a Jewish student from entering the campus. On Monday, Jewish Columbia University professor Shai Davidai’s access card to the University campus was denied when he attempted to lead a pro-Israel demonstration.

READ MORE: Shocking Twist at Columbia: Jewish Prof Denied Entry to Campus, Stopped From Holding Pro-Israel Rally

Hochul went on to say in her video that, 

“So I leave here today. I also have a message for everybody. I was once a student protester. I protested institutions, I protested government, I protested against apartheid. But I’ve never seen a level of protest that is so person to person in this room. And I’m calling on everyone. People need to find their humanity. Have the conversations, talk to each other, understand different points of view because that’s what college students should be doing. So we as the adults need to foster the right environment for that. But I hope there’s a resolution that comes out of this where people have a deeper sense of understanding.”

The amount of visible hatred coming out of these protests should shock the system of the most hardened politicians, but Hochul may have another motive behind her X video. New York is the home to the largest Jewish population outside of Israel, and Jews have been a reliable voting bloc for Democrats. Given recent statements by Joe Biden, some directed at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that U.S. support for an Israeli offensive earlier this month might hinge on Israel’s efforts to protect aid workers and civilians in Gaza, Hochul may feel the need to run some interference for Biden. 

That Hochul is urging people on both sides of this volatile issue to come together to try to foster some understanding among one another is heartening to all who hear it. But Gov. Hochul’s track record of wanting debate and discussion to take place among those who disagree is less than heartening. It was Hochul who, before the 2022 midterm elections, encouraged conservative New Yorkers to “Just jump on a bus and head down to Florida where you belong, OK? You are not New Yorkers.” While there is certainly no comparison between the two instances, Hochul’s desire for debate, discussion, and understanding among people who have “different points of view” seems convenient. 

Unfortunately for Kathy Hochul, anti-Israel protesters don’t seem to be paying attention. On Monday, a “liberating zone” was set up at New York University in “solidarity” with their cohorts at Columbia University. 

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