Brooklyn Councilwoman Inna Vernikov ripped the Museum of Jewish Heritage and Gov. Kathy Hochul Friday, accusing both of having a double standard on who gets to speak there for hosting Democrats but shutting out Republicans — including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Hochul held a bill-signing ceremony at the museum on Wednesday to promote education about the Holocaust.
As governor, Hochul also serves as an ex-officio trustee of MJH’s governing board. The museum also is located in state-government owned Battery Park.
But in May, leaders of a conservative Jewish group, the Tikvah Fund, said it had to cancel a planned event at the museum and relocate to another venue after it was told that museum officials objected to DeSantis speaking.
At the time, DeSantis was embroiled in a controversy for approving a law that barred public schools teachers in grades K to 3 from teaching about sexual orientation, which LGBT critics slammed as the “Don’t Say Gay” law.
“A few months ago, @MJHnews refused to rent space for a conf. featuring @RonDeSantisFL to avoid being political. Yesterday, just a little over 2 months before her gubernatorial election, the museum had @GovKathyHochul sign a bill. Will they let me host her (R) opponent @leezeldin?,” the Republican Vernikov, a Ukraine-born Jew, asked in a tweet.
“Also,@GovKathyHochul had the Chutzpa to take a shot at @RonDeSantisFL, in the museum from which he was banned, while New Yorkers are flocking to his state in droves. Some non-political affair this was!,” added Vernikov.
Hochul said during the bill signing ceremony, “I just want to say to the 1.77 million Jews who call New York home: Thank you for calling New York home. Don’t go anywhere or to another state.”
She then cracked, “Florida is overrated. I shouldn’t say this, but look at the governor. It starts at the top down.”
The Jewish community should “not be used for photo ops” at the Jewish Heritage Museum, Vernikov told The Post and said Hochul should focus on improving New York’s business climate and curbing crime instead of taking a cheap partisan jab at DeSantis.
“Instead of pointing fingers at Gov. DeSantis, who has been doing a tremendous job for the Jewish community and all the people of his state, Gov. Hochul has some introspection to do,” Vernikov said.
“There is a good reason the Jewish community, as well as many New Yorkers, are flocking to Florida in droves. The governor should stop playing politics with Jewish lives and start making changes to bring New York back to the prosperous, safe place it once was.”
The councilwoman also emphasized that “it’s nice” that Hochul signed a Holocaust bill into law but questioned what the governor has done to address “Jewish students experiencing antisemitism” at state-funded CUNY’s 25 campuses.
The Jewish museum and Hochul’s office had no immediate comment to Vernikov’s criticism.