Hochul warns NY college presidents that the Harvard, Penn, MIT approach to anti-Semitism is illegal

New York Governor Kathy Hochul claims that the recent congressional testimonies on anti-Semitism featuring elite university presidents showcased 'disgraceful answers.'

Hochul writes that state universities and colleges that fail to properly handle incidents of ant-Semitism risk violating both federal and state laws.

Following last week’s congressional hearings that featured several presidents of elite universities unable to clarify if calls for the genocide of Jews violated their campus policies, New York Governor Kathy Hochul released a brief letter on the legal ramifications for state schools that fail to handle incidents of anti-Semitism.

On Dec. 9, Hochul wrote to the heads of New York’s public colleges and universities that the presidents of Harvard, UPenn, and MIT “[failed] to clearly and unequivocally denounce antisemitism and calls for genocide of the Jewish people on their college campuses.”

[RELATED: Here are the answsers Harvard, Penn, MIT presidents gave when asked if calls for genocide against Jews are against campus rules. (HINT: none of them are ‘yes’)]

The governor states that she spoke with both the SUNY and CUNY system chancellors to discuss how anti-Semitism and calls for the killing of any groups violate each campus’ codes of conduct.

”In addition, failure to address such activity would constitute a violation of New York State Human Rights Law as well as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” she writes. ”Under Title VI, any recipient of federal funds is responsible for keeping students free from a hostile environment based upon their ethnicity or national origin - a standard that that has been applied to antisemitism.”

[RELATED: Harvard President Gay apologizes for failing to convey ‘my truth’ during congressional hearing]

Warning of the potential for schools to lose state and federal funding, Hochul writes, ”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.”

Nearly 1.8 million Jews live in New York state, with over 1.1 million residing in New York City.