Kathy Hochul
Kathy HochulREUTERS/Cindy Schultz

New York City Council member Inna Vernikov blasted New York Governor Kathy Hochul for releasing a statement speaking out against antisemitism only a week before the midterm elections, accusing Hochul of pandering to the Jewish community at the last minute for votes.

“As your governor, I proudly stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters across the state and will continue to send a strong message that New York has zero tolerance for antisemitism,” Hochul wrote in the letter, released on November 1.

The midterm elections are on November 8.

“This community has been targeted for so many years, and I will do everything in my power to protect you from evil and hate and will continue to fight for your right to practice your religion and teach your children with your religious education,” Hochul said.

But Vernikov, who is Jewish, was not impressed with Hochul’s statement. The Republican councillor pointed out that the message of solidarity with the Jewish community came only a week before the governor faces a tough election against Republican opponent Lee Zeldin.

“And I will continue to ask you Governor Kathy Hochul: What will you DO other than tweet about having ‘zero tolerance for antisemitism’ & that you’ll ‘continue to fight for our rights’ a week before election? Asking for my constituents who get beat up EVERY SINGLE day for being Jewish,” Vernikow said on Twitter, responding to Hochul’s letter.

Hochul’s letter went on to speak about the relationship’s she had made over the years with leaders of New York’s Orthodox Jewish communities, and that she had visited Jewish summer camps in the Catskill mountains as the state’s lieutenant governor.

“As governor, my understanding of, and appreciation for the Jewish community has grown even stronger,” she wrote.

Hochul also pledged that if reelected she would “continue to work with rabbis, administrators and leaders in the Jewish community to help them in every way that I can, in order to keep the Jewish communities of New York growing and flourishing for many years go come.”