Rep. Williams speaks against reported rise in antisemitism at SUNY Upstate Medical University
Central New York Rep. Brandon Williams (R-Sennett) said Sunday that some Jewish students, faculty, and staff at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse are being targeted for their heritage.
Williams met with medical students, faculty and physicians from SUNY Upstate Medical University and the Syracuse area to discuss issues of reported rising antisemitism at Upstate Hospital. Following a private roundtable discussion Sunday, Williams said incidents at SUNY Upstate have left some Jewish students fearing for their safety.
“I’m sad to report that incidents in the SUNY Upstate Medical School and the hospital community have created a climate of fear of retribution against Jewish members in that community that have spoken up and spoken out and that is unacceptable,” Williams said.
He said a lack of action from SUNY Upstate leaders is breaking trust in the community.
“SUNY Upstate is failing to live up to its own values to provide a safe environment,” Williams said.
Williams stated that SUNY Upstate has gone after minor infractions of bigotry in the past but has let antisemitism thrive. No specific examples of incidents were given.
“SUNY Upstate has allowed some forms of bigotry, specifically antisemitism, to thrive, and yet they often go after minor infractions, relatively minor infractions of bigotry, expressed by others in the community,” Williams said. “Why do they have this selective enforcement against bigotry?”
SUNY Upstate officials say they were not invited to the roundtable discussion or press conference. In a statement, Upstate says the university "unequivocally denounces antisemitism in any form." The university says while they were not aware of what was presented at the roundtable discussion, they welcome "Congressman Williams' discussions and will continue to engage with all members of the campus community."
The statement also reminded the community that events held by student or faculty groups on campus do not mean Upstate “agrees with or endorses the views expressed during the event or the people featured during the event.”