New York Governor apologises for comments about Israel's war on Gaza

AFP / Spencer Platt

New York Governor Kathy Hochul apologised on Friday for remarks she made at a Jewish charity event, suggesting that Israel was justified in destroying Gaza following the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.

"If Canada attacks Buffalo one day, I'm sorry, my friends, there will be no Canada the next," Hochul said in part of her speech Thursday at a United Jewish Appeal event in New York that went viral on social media. 

She added, "This is a natural reaction. You have the right to defend yourself and make sure this does not happen again. This is Israel's right," according to Reuters.

She said on Friday in a statement reported by the New York Times that she regretted the "inappropriate analogy" and apologised for her "poor choice of words."

She said in a statement, "While I have been clear in my support of Israel's right to self-defence, I have repeatedly said and continue to believe that Palestinian civilian casualties should be avoided and that more humanitarian aid should be sent to the people of Gaza."

The humanitarian crisis has left Gaza's population of more than two million on the brink of famine, and nearly 29,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli offensive, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.

The United Nations has called for a ceasefire on humanitarian grounds, which the United States opposes, saying it would allow Hamas to reorganise its ranks.

American society also had to deal with the impact of war. Human rights advocates have noted a rise in anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Arab bias in the United States since the beginning of the war.

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