New York Governor Andrew Cuomo visited Israel on Wednesday, where he met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, among others.
Cuomo, who was accompanied by a delegation of American lawmakers, underscored Washington’s commitment to Israel.
"We know that you're going through a very difficult time right now and Israel is going through a very difficult time. And that is precisely why we're here: Because we want to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel, we want to stand in solidarity with you,” he told Netanyahu.
“The delegation that has come forward is unprecedented in some ways. We have both sides of the legislature, the Assembly and the Senate. It's a bipartisan delegation. We have business representatives, [unclear] leaders, and we all wanted to come as one, in solidarity, in unity, to say to Israel: We understand the situation you're in, we understand what you are facing and we support your right, your leave to defend your people against terror,” said Cuomo.
“The United States has always been a strong ally of Israel on many, many levels. As New Yorkers, we have many connections, family connections, cultural connections, historic connections, so our relations go very deep. And I speak for all New Yorkers when I say: We stand in solidarity with Israel. The fight that you fight is the fight against terror. Unfortunately in New York, we've had a rude awakening to the pain and suffering that terror can cause in 9/11. So we have a special sensitivity in our hearts for what you're going through now,” he added.
In a separate meeting with President Rivlin, Cuomo said, “The United States has always been a strong ally of Israel on many levels. We've felt that especially strong in the State of New York. We have so many connections and so many ties. There are 1.7 million Jews in the State of New York, more than anywhere else besides Israel. Our history goes back a long, long time.”
He continued, “We know that these are difficult days and we want to say that we stand with you in solidarity. We understand your need and your right to defend yourself. We understand the attack that you are under. Everyone wishes for peace and that's our eternal hope, but we also understand your need to do what is right by your people in defense and we're here to support you in that."