After uproar, NY state senator fires staffer who endorsed Oct. 7 Hamas onslaught

Julia Salazar axes communications and policy director after initially trying to distance herself from social media posts that included ‘I don’t condemn Hamas, I condemn Israel’

Luke Tress is a JTA reporter and a former editor and reporter in New York for The Times of Israel.

New York State Senator Julia Salazar speaks to state legislators during a public hearing on sexual harassment in the workplace, February 13, 2019, in Albany, New York. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
New York State Senator Julia Salazar speaks to state legislators during a public hearing on sexual harassment in the workplace, February 13, 2019, in Albany, New York. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

New York Jewish Week via JTA — New York State Senator Julia Salazar fired a staffer who endorsed the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

The decision came Monday morning, according to the Albany Times Union, after Salazar had distanced herself from the comments by Sarah Campbell, her communications and policy director.

According to screenshots published by the New York Post on Saturday, Campbell wrote the phrase “by any means necessary” on her personal account on X, formerly known as Twitter, on October 7. The phrase is seen as justifying Hamas’ violence and has been used by protest groups in New York that celebrated the attack and that call for Israel’s destruction.

More than a month later, on November 12, Campbell posted, “I don’t condemn Hamas, I condemn Israel. Who has reigned more terror: Hamas in the entirety of their existence, or Israel in just the last 30 days?”

The screenshot of the November 12 post showed that her account had been made private, so that only approved followers could see her posts. The account has since been deleted.

Salazar’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

After the posts surfaced, Salazar addressed the report in a post on X, writing that her staffer posted the comments to her “personal, locked social media account without my knowledge.”

“Her personal thoughts are not mine, and do not reflect me or my office in any way at all,” Salazar wrote. “I’m not going to allow anyone to wrongly pin another person’s reckless and completely unacceptable words onto me or my office.”

The Post also reported that Isabel Anreus, Salazar’s chief of staff, liked an October 7 post that said, “The stuff happening in Palestine really cheers me up.” During the attack, Hamas terrorists slaughtered approximately 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took more than 200 people captive. Anreus’ account is also now private.

Salazar, a Democrat who represents north Brooklyn, was elected to the State Senate as a member of the Democratic Socialists of America in 2018. The group’s New York City branch came under fire for endorsing a rally held in Times Square on October 8, before Israel had fully launched its counteroffensive in Gaza, that backed the Palestinian “right to resist.”

Salazar has repeatedly called for a ceasefire and criticized Israeli strikes on Gaza since the beginning of the war, and also condemned the Hamas attack and has demanded the release of hostages held by Hamas.

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