Lee Zeldin, who lost last November’s race for NY Governor Kathy Hochul while receiving the highest vote percentage for a Republican gubernatorial nominee since 2002, on Thursday, tweeted: “New Yorkers need a real leader who will rise to the occasion and crush the raging antisemitism consuming CUNY. Kathy Hochul has proven time and again that she is not that person. New Yorkers need a real leader who will rise to the occasion and crush the raging antisemitism consuming CUNY.”
She beat him by 8 points, 54 to 46, and the issue of antisemitism was not very big on Zeldin’s platform (as opposed to LGBT rights), but Zeldin is not off base. The NY Post on Wednesday ran his op-ed, titled, “Gov. Kathy Hochul is AWOL as CUNY is in crisis,” that opened: “As the far-left radicalization of the City University of New York advances, Kathy Hochul, on brand, is nowhere to be found.”
Zeldin was referring to the May 12 commencement speech by CUNY Law School graduate Fatima Mousa Mohammed (18 Days Later, Rage Erupts over CUNY’s Choice of Hate-Spitting Arab for Commencement Speech), in which she suggested American law is a “manifestation of white supremacy,” and expressed her delight that CUNY Law endorsed BDS, helping students in fighting “Israeli settler colonialism.”
“Leadership as New York’s governor is about passionately speaking out in moments like these, harnessing all your voice and power to condemn the cancer of antisemitism being unleashed throughout taxpayer-funded CUNY, and taking action to crush this hate that has left too many Jewish students and faculty feeling unwelcome and searching for the exits,” Zeldin wrote.
He added: “This is the second year in a row CUNY Law has allowed a commencement speaker to terrorize the audience with rabid hate, lies, and demagoguery, leaving Jewish attendees and others infuriated with good reason. Nerdeen Kiswani used her commencement address last year to attack CUNY administrators for participating in a Jewish-led trip to Israel, claiming it was normalizing ‘the murder of the Palestinian people.’”
“Where’s Kathy Hochul on any of this, ever?” Zeldin wondered, suggesting “Kathy Hochul’s cowardice and silence all along the way has been duly noted,” and “it further signals that it’s open season on Jews at CUNY.”
“The administration and culture at CUNY need to be overhauled – until that happens, taxpayer funding must be immediately suspended,” Zeldin demands. “Antisemitism is raging at the City University of New York. It’s being promoted, empowered, and celebrated. Raw hate is taking hold with toxicity that couldn’t be more dangerous. There are many Jewish students and faculty at CUNY desperate for the governor to enthusiastically take the reins and lead. Silence is consent, and inaction is an existential threat to this taxpayer-funded university.”