NEW YORK – As the latest 72-hour cease-fire crept into its final day, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a delegation of politicians and businessmen headed to Tel Aviv on Tuesday to show solidarity with Israel.
“Friends stand together in times of crisis, and I am proud to lead this bipartisan delegation to Israel to reaffirm our friendship and support,” Cuomo said. “New York has always had a special relationship with Israel. As Hamas and other terrorist organizations continue to threaten Israel, now is the time to deliver that message of solidarity in person.”
This is Cuomo’s first international trip in his role as governor, and the fourth time he’s been to Israel.
With a delegation of New York state politicians, including Senate majority co-leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein, and moguls such as New York Daily News publisher and executive chairman of Boston Properties Mortimer Zuckerman and clothing maven Kenneth Cole, Cuomo and his companions will visit government officials and learn more about how Israel has been affected by the recent round of fighting.
Particularly in New York, US politicians are roundly supporting Israel and its military actions. During the Federal Aviation Administration’s short-lived flight ban to Israel in July, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg visited the Jewish state, flying El Al.
“The flight restrictions are a mistake that hands Hamas an undeserved victory and should be lifted immediately,” Bloomberg said.
“I believe it is essential that the Empire State’s leaders express our solidarity with Israel and its people, especially during these difficult times. I am certain our visit will reinforce the already strong ties that bind New York and the State of Israel,” said New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who will be part of the delegation. The governor’s office would not provide further details about the trip.
This trip comes at a difficult time for Cuomo, who has been on the defensive since allegations arose that he had tried to prevent an anti-corruption commission he set up from investigating his office.