Cuomo on Visit Offers ‘Total Solidarity’ for Israel

YERUSHALAYIM (AP/Hamodia) -
Gov. Andrew Cuomo leads a New York delegation — including Senate co-leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver — in Yerushalayim Wednesday night, as they visit the Kosel. (Office of the Governor)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo leads a New York delegation — including Senate co-leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver — in Yerushalayim Wednesday night, as they visit the Kosel. (Office of the Governor)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday meets Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (R)  in Yerushalayim.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday meets Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (R) in Yerushalayim.
Cuomo (R) and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (C) meets New Yorkers living in Yerushalayim. Senate Majority leader Dean Skelos is between them.
Cuomo (R) and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (C) meets New Yorkers living in Yerushalayim. Senate Majority leader Dean Skelos is between them.
Cuomo greets a Yerushalmi Yid as he walks to the Kosel plaza.
Cuomo greets a Yerushalmi Yid as he walks to the Kosel plaza.
Cuomo on Wednesday night met Councilman David Greenfield at the Kosel. Abe Eisner is in the center.
Cuomo on Wednesday night met Councilman David Greenfield at the Kosel. Abe Eisner is in the center.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo kicked off a two-day visit to Israel on Wednesday, where he expressed “total solidarity” with the country over the month-long war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Cuomo met Israeli leaders hours before a temporary truce between the sides was set to expire. Speaking at the residence of newly inaugurated President Reuven Rivlin, Cuomo said Israel has the right to defend itself against rocket fire from Islamic terrorists.

“We understand the attack that you are under,” Cuomo said. “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.”

Cuomo later met Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who praised Cuomo and the U.S. government for “standing on the right side of the moral divide.”

New York is home to 1.7 million Jews, the largest concentration outside of Israel, a fact Cuomo emphasized in his meetings. This is Cuomo’s fourth trip to Israel. On Wednesday, Cuomo also visited the Kosel. On Thursday, Cuomo is expected to meet residents and injured soldiers in Israel’s south.

Also visiting Israel is Councilman David Greenfield, who met Cuomo Wednesday night at the Kosel.

There has been a flood of New York officials visiting Israel as it grapples with Gaza terror, or are planning trips in the near future.

Rep. Steve Israel, a Democrat from Long Island, led a nine-member congressional tour last week, while Rep. Peter King, a Republican from Long Island, is planning to go later this month. Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, a Democrat running for Congress, was there in July, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer is leaving for Israel on Sunday, and she says Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams was also expected to go.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind visited last month where he stayed at a hotel near the Gaza border in solidarity with residents.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg received a hero’s welcome last month when he made a trip to declare that an FAA decision to ban U.S. flights to Ben Gurion was wrong.