This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
The governor of New York Kathy Hochul is acting in response to the rising antisemitic attacks and hate crimes since the Israel-Hama war, announcing on Tuesday up to $75 million in grants for local police departments and houses of worship.
Additionally, the state will begin a review of the antisemitism and anti-discrimination policies in New York City’s public university system, while the State Police will expand its monitoring of social media to identify online threats on college campuses, according to the New York Times.
Ms. Hochul has said: “We cannot allow any New Yorker to live in fear,” a remark that came as a response to the growing number of threats, vandalism, and attacks against Jews in New York and across the nation. According to the New York Police Department, there was a spike in hate crimes against Jewish people in the city after the Hamas attacks on Israel, with 51 hate crimes in the third week of October compared with just seven in the same week last year. Police claim that 30 of these attacks were antisemitic.
Another incident at Cornell University saw a series of posts on a student website that threatened violence against Jewish students at the University. The posts were referred to the F.B.I. as a potential hate crime, and prompted the school and the State Police to increase security at the school’s Jewish center. Later that week the governor announced that “a person of interest” had been arrested by the State Police and would be questioned in connection to the threats.
According to the New York Times, Ms. Hochul announced $50 million in grants to help local law enforcement agencies prevent and solve hate crimes, with another $25 million made available to strengthen security at Jewish houses of worship and community centers.
The governor visited Israel earlier this month on a “solidarity mission” as the leader of the state with the largest Jewish population outside of Israel, and recently denounced the people seen taking down street fliers displaying the faces of people who were kidnapped by Hamas.
Furthermore, the new review of anti-discrimination policies at the City University of New York follows months of unrest among students and alumni who accused the public university system of anti-Israel bias.