Mayor Bill de Blasio hosted his counterpart from Yerushalayim at City Hall Wednesday, praising Nir Barkat for his management of a city with “centuries of history” behind it.
Barkat, in New York for a visit to promote trade between the two cities, thanked de Blasio for his strong friendship with Israel, mentioning the trip to Paris two weeks ago in the wake of the terror attack that killed four Jews.
“I think the world knows that America is Israel’s best friend, and New York is Jerusalem’s best friend,” Barkat said.
De Blasio joked that he was welcoming Barkat to “let him know that he is in his second home now — New York City.”
“You were one of the first mayors around the world to congratulate me — I’ll never forget that — when I was elected and I thank you for that,” de Blasio said.
“He has the largest city in his country, I have the largest city in my country,” he added. “But my city has a larger Jewish population.”
“Must be more difficult, to manage two million Jews,” Barkat deadpanned.
“Well, I’ll leave that for you to determine,” de Blasio responded, laughing. “But it’s a wonderful community and a huge part of what makes this city great.”