Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said that Hofstra University President Susan Poser failed to condemn Hamas and has called for her resignation.
Blakeman, who is Jewish, called into question Poser’s judgment and ability to lead Nassau’s largest private university after issuing a statement on the Israel-Hamas conflict.
“President Poser sought equivalence between Hamas’ terrorist slaughter of innocent women and children with the contested political agenda of the Palestinian people,” Blakeman said on Facebook. “She is wrong, misguided and her judgment puts into question her ability to lead Nassau County’s largest private university and guide Hofstra University.”
Poser on Oct. 9 and Oct. 18 issued two letters to the community regarding the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, which started on Oct. 7 after Hamas, an Iran-funded terrorist group that controls Gaza, launched a surprise attack storming Israeli towns across the border where at least 1,200 people were killed 240 were taken hostage.
Poser, who has been with Hofstra since 2021, said “There is a complex history and conflicting views about the causal underpinnings of the current crisis,” rather than condemning the Hamas attacks. The president added that Hofstra would hold a “Vigil for Peace” following the attack.
Blakeman, who has taught business law at Hofstra, sent a letter to Hofstra’s Board of Trustees calling for Poser’s resignation due to her “callous and unconscionable statement,” according to Fox New Digital.
The university said they stand by Poser, a first-generation Jewish American, and that she was the first to provide resources for the Hofstra community which has been deeply affected by the conflict.
“The fact is that on October 9, 2023, President Poser publicly condemned the “horrific and brutal attack by Hamas on Israel” and the “unspeakable, organized violence and hostage-taking against men, women, and children” in a message to the Hofstra community,” the school said in a statement to the New York Post.
State Assemblyman Charles Lavine (D-North Shore) said Blakeman’s calls were a partisan political threat to “please his MAGA base.” Lavine continued to say that he supports Poser and the university.
“President Poser’s public comments on the October 7 pogrom were every bit as condemnatory of Hamas as were the statements of other noteworthy leading university administrators,” Lavine said in a statement. “Contrary to Blakeman’s ideation, her statement explicitly damned Hamas.”
Blakeman’s call for resignation comes while the county and university are engaged in a lawsuit over the lease for the Las Vegas Sands Casino in Uniondale at the site of the Nassau Coliseum.
A judge recently voided the 99-year lease agreement allowing Sands to develop a $4 billion casino and entertainment project after Hofstrau sued the county for violating the state’s open meeting laws.