Murphy on China’s Ask to Delay Russian Invasion: ‘You Got to be Kidding Me’

“If you’re silent, if you’re abstaining right now, you’re guilty as hell. We cannot let people who are silent or abstaining get away with it, never mind Vladimir Putin.”  That was Governor Phil Murphy’s message to those who were indifferent to the suffering of the people of Ukraine.

The remarks came just before the governor joined with officials at the Municipal Building in Fair Lawn to discuss the new ANCHOR Property Tax Relief Program.  Governor Murphy referenced a letter he sent to the White House yesterday, opening the state of New Jersey to refugees from war-torn Ukraine, as New Jersey welcomed Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban last summer.

“Sadly for the Russian people, Russia is led by a thug who runs a kleptocracy and is murdering innocent Ukrainians, it looks by the hundreds, especially over the past couple of days.  There’s just no excuse for this. New Jersey will stand strongly by the Ukrainian people and by Ukraine.  We will fly their flags, we will take their refugees. I sent a letter to President Biden yesterday saying just as we did with the Afghan refugees, we’re raising our hand to take any.”

The governor said that about 75,000 Ukrainians call New Jersey home, only behind California, New York, and Pennsylvania.  “The Ukrainian Orthodox North American Church headquarters are in New Jersey. My wife and I attended a vigil the other night. On behalf of Sheila [Oliver] and the rest of our government, we will stand tall. I signed an executive order yesterday, which orders our state government to sever any ties with any Russian entities.”  The governor also hailed Senator Paul Sarlo for sponsoring a bill that “would have a similar effect” with respect to the state’s investments.

“We will not waver,” Murphy said. “We will stay at this. We’re working. My wife Tammy is a part of this.”  The governor said he spoke with Oksana Markarova, the Ukrainian ambassador to the US, a few days ago.  “We’re trying to get humanitarian goods over there—I’d like to send tanks. I hope somebody else is doing that, anti-aircraft and all the other weapons that are being delivered.  That’s above New Jersey’s paygrade, but we will stand firm.”

While the governor acknowledged his presence in Fair Lawn was not to talk about Ukraine, he delivered harsh words for those not trying to support the people of Ukraine before moving on to discuss ANCHOR.  “I think if you abstain, if you’re silent right now you’re complicit.  Period. There’s blood on your hands.”

The governor added that he read the New York Times had reported China had been given advance notice of Russia’s war plans.  “Apparently the Chinese asked Putin to hold off and that they were given details of the war. So, they knew that Holocaust survivors would be bombed by the Russians. Just think about that for a second. They went through hell once, they’re not going through hell again.  The Chinese knew what was going to happen and all [the Russians] were asked was to postpone the beginning of the war until after the Olympics. You got to be kidding me.”

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