(New York Jewish Week via JTA) — New York’s Governor Kathy Hochul vowed to fight hate crimes and criticized fellow Democrats over their positions on Israel, in a speech delivered virtually to the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York on Wednesday, Nov. 10. Hochul pledged to fight antisemitism and help bolster security at Jewish institutions. She also declared her support for Israel and called out those in her own party who disagree. “As a member of Congress a decade ago, I stood firm with Israel when they were under assault,” she said. “And even more recently, as a Democrat, now, I reject the individuals in my party who are making this an issue and questioning our commitment to Israel.” Progressives like by New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have challenged their party on issues like defense assistance for Israel.
Hochul noted that she was delivering the speech on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, and drew a connection to present-day antisemitism. She promised that she was “working very hard to make sure that the resources are there from the state government to fund security programs.” “For so long the community has been under assault, and we talked about the rise in hate crimes against individuals who should never have that fear in their hearts,” she said. “You’ve always fought back. The Jewish people always had to fight back but it makes them stronger and more united together.”
Near the end of her speech, Hochul said that she had planned to visit Israel over Thanksgiving with her family, but that in August “my life changed rather dramatically” — a reference to her becoming governor upon Cuomo’s resignation. “Let’s let me get through this year, and I’ll be there next year,” she said.
Main Photo: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks in New York City, August 26, 2021. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)