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New York state senators propose laws to counter local antisemitism

“This is the single most pressing issue we are faced with,” said Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt.

Anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian activists in New York City, May 11, 2021. Credit: Ron Adar/Shutterstock.
Anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian activists in New York City, May 11, 2021. Credit: Ron Adar/Shutterstock.

The New York State Senate and Assembly Republican Conferences conducted a press conference this week to call attention to a series of proposed bills dubbed “Hate Has Consequences.”

“Amidst a dramatic rise in antisemitism, and the increase of hateful speech and rhetoric on college campuses here in New York and throughout the nation, it is imperative that the legislature act to protect Jewish New Yorkers,” Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt said on Wednesday.

Potential new laws could stop state funding for colleges that fail to ban pro-terrorist student groups; create new crimes for those wearing masks while committing assaults; and sanction schools that fail to stop professors from supporting terrorist groups.

Calling the threat of antisemitism “the single most pressing issue we are faced with,” Ortt said that he was “disappointed in the lack of action by New York Democrats.”

The proposed measures come as hate crimes continue in New York City, particularly after the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas in southern Israel. Criminals broke the window of the Rothschild TLV, a kosher restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, on May 15.

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