NEW YORK – As the United Nations Security Council prepared for an emergency session Sunday about the Middle East conflict, Israel supporters flocked to the Upper East Side’s 92Y to hear politicians and community leaders convey their support.
US Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) kicked off the event, which was sponsored by the Israeli-American Council, expressing his strong support for the State of Israel and the recent military campaign.
“What Israel’s doing to defend itself will be heard, and Israel will once again, against vitriol and hatred, survive,” Schumer said.
After a moment of silence for the Israeli soldiers who died Sunday, Gil Galanos, co-chairman of the IAC in New York, asked the audience members to stand with and show their support for the Jewish state.
“My heart is with the families of the soldiers and the innocent civilians who have lost their lives and have suffered injuries in the last few weeks,” Galanos said. “My heart, like yours, is torn with worry.”
He underscored the emotional difficulty of supporting Israel from so far away and called on each attendee to explain the conflict to fellow Americans, and to act as ambassadors for the state.
Counsel-General of Israel in New York Ido Aharoni asked them not just to act as ambassadors but to do what they could to support Israel’s economy, which the war has threatened.
“Tourism is suffering. This is the time for all of us to show support by engaging with Israel,” Aharoni said.
He called for attendees to support Israeli-made goods, particularly in this time of crisis.
“Made in Israel. Made in Israel is the ultimate answer to our enemies and our detractors.”
The speakers ended on a hopeful note, saying that the city of New York stands with the State of Israel.
“I want you to know something, this event tonight is part of a long-standing history of an unbreakable bond between this great community of the city of New York, and the State of Israel,” Aharoni said.