New York governor sorry for suggesting Israel would be justified in wiping out Gaza

Kathy Hochul admits that remarking ‘there would be no Canada’ if it attacked Buffalo in Oct. 7-like assault was an ‘inappropriate analogy’; other State Assembly lawmakers pan her

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul in the Red Room at the state Capitol  in Albany, New York, January 16, 2024. (Hans Pennink/AP)
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul in the Red Room at the state Capitol in Albany, New York, January 16, 2024. (Hans Pennink/AP)

New York Governor Kathy Hochul apologized for remarks she made at a Jewish philanthropy event in New York City that went viral on social media and which suggested Israel had justification to destroy Gaza following the October 7 Hamas terror attack.

“If Canada someday ever attacked Buffalo, I’m sorry, my friends, there would be no Canada the next day,” Hochul said in a portion of her speech on Thursday at an event for the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York. “That is a natural reaction. You have a right to defend yourself and to make sure that it never happens again. And that is Israel’s right.”

On October 7, Palestinian terror group Hamas led a devastating attack on Israel. Thousands of terrorists burst through the border with the Gaza Strip and rampaged murderously through southern Israel, slaughtering those they found, and perpetrating wholesale atrocities, including multiple gang rape, torture and mutilation. The killed some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took 253 hostages.

Israel responded to the attack with a military campaign to destroy Hamas, remove it from power in Gaza and release the hostages.

On Friday, in a statement cited by The New York Times, Hochul said she regrets her “inappropriate analogy” and apologized for her “poor choice of words.”

“While I have been clear in my support of Israel’s right to self-defense, I have also repeatedly said and continue to believe that Palestinian civilian casualties should be avoided and that more humanitarian aid must go to the people of Gaza,” she said in the statement.

Responding to the original video of Hochul making the remarks, the Buffalo chapter of the Jewish Voice for Peace tweeted that it was “Disgusting. No world. We, your Jewish constituents in Buffalo NY, are beyond appalled.”

Zohran Kwame Mamdani, a member of the State Assembly for District 36, tweeted that Hochul was “justifying genocide while laughing. Disgusting.”

Fellow assembly member Shaman Hanif, representing District 39, tweeted that she would not accept Hochul’s apology without action to follow it up.

“I need to see changed behavior,” she wrote. “I will not be forgiving you at this time.”

The Israeli response to October 7 has devastated large areas of Gaza.

Gaza health authorities say more than 28,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel declared war on October 7.

The figures issued by the Hamas-run health ministry cannot be independently verified, and are believed to include both civilians and Hamas members killed in Gaza, including as a consequence of terror groups’ own rocket misfires. The IDF says it has killed over 10,000 operatives in Gaza, in addition to some 1,000 terrorists inside Israel on October 7.

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