Cuomo Says He’s Considering a Trip to Israel

ALBANY -

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday he is considering a visit to Israel which, he says, would highlight the special relationship between Israel and the State of New York.

While Israel is currently embroiled in a Gaza operation to root out terror, Cuomo, a Democrat who is said to harbor presidential ambitions, said word of trip details are “a tad premature.”

“I have been corresponding with Israeli officials on the current situation that is going on in the Middle East,” he told reporters at an unrelated economic event in Buffalo. “New York, first of all, has a special relationship with Israel. The Jewish people are a large and magnificent part of our community in this state. And this state and this country play a special role as supporters of Israel.”

Cuomo rarely leaves New York State, but he has visited Israel twice in the past, both times about a decade ago.

Cuomo penned a strongly pro-Israel statement several weeks ago after three Israeli boys were abducted on their way home from yeshivah for Shabbos, They were subsequently found to have been brutally murdered by their Hamas kidnapers, Hy”d.

In a letter his office released on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu thanked him for his support and extended an invitation to visit.

“New York, like Israel, has known the scourge of terrorism,” Netanyahu wrote. “You clearly understand the threat terrorism poses and the efforts required to fight it. It would be my pleasure to welcome you here in Jerusalem should you choose to visit.”

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg paid a 12-hour solidarity visit to Israel last week to protest the Federal Aviation Administration decision to ban U.S. commercial planes from landing there.

The FAA ban, issued after a Hamas rocket landed a mile from Ben Gurion airport, was rescinded after 36 hours.