NEW YORK, NY - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo marches during the annual Celebrate Israel Parade on June 3, 2018 in New York City..
(photo credit: KENA BETANCUR/GETTY IMAGES/AFP)
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will visit Israel on a solidarity trip on June 26-28, Cuomo announced on Monday.
During an interview on WAMC Northeast Public Radio, the governor highlighted the importance of Israel as a trade partner and anticipated that the agenda of the trip would be packed with economic-oriented meetings in different sectors including drone technology and navigation systems.
Besides, Cuomo stressed how the upcoming trip also represented a response to the rise of antisemitism in the US.
"I'm very close and New Yorkers are very close to Israel. There has been a rash of antisemitism all across this country - the synagogue shootings, etc. We've had it in this state, all across this state, and it's repugnant to what New Yorkers believe and feel," Cuomo said.
"I hope there is a message of solidarity and partnership in my trip to Israel and I hope the Jewish community here is confident in this state's position vis-a-vis Israel," he added.
Cuomo will be accompanied in his trip by Consul General of Israel in New York, Dani Dayan.
"I am very much looking forward to joining Governor Cuomo on this visit to Israel and applaud him for taking this important step in solidarity with the Jewish community," Dayan said in a statement.
"Governor Cuomo sets an example to leaders all over the world who are battling increasing antisemitism in their communities. We cannot ignore the spread of this dangerous disease: We must face it head-on, making it clear once and for all that it will not be tolerated," he added.
Commenting on the upcoming trip, Cuomo said that criticism towards the State of Israel never justifies antisemitism.
"[Netanyahu] is a close ally of the president and I think he's working with this president for his own interests. They may have a coincidence of interests. But look, you have political differences and we can sit here and say we politically differ with Israel's policies on whatever issue. But how does that transfer into hate and antisemitism?" he pointed out, speaking on WAMC Northeast Public Radio.
"I understand we have an overheated political environment in this country, but we also have a constitution and legacy of accepting and living together and accepting diversity. The Jewish community is a central part of the State of New York. So, you want to have a political difference with Israel, be my guest, but you have no right to turn that into antisemitism," he added.
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