Gov. Cuomo & State Legislators Head to Israel

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Before Gov. Cuomo and top state legislators embarked on their trip to Israel Tuesday, Cuomo said the “unity mission” has a clear message during a news conference at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Governor Cuomo Says.. ” I am very excited and proud to be part of this Unity Delegation that is going to Israel. As you heard from Melissa, joining the delegation will be the Speaker Sheldon Silver; Co-Senate Leader Dean Skelos; Co-Senate Leader Jeffrey Klein; Mortimer Zuckerman, who’s the Executive Chair of Boston Properties, publisher of the Daily News and the Chairman of the U.S. News and World Report; Kenneth Cole, CEO of Kenneth Cole Productions; Neil Cole, President of Iconix Brand Group; Howard Maier, Chairman Emeritus of the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County. Kenneth, Neil and Howard are my brothers-in-law. We would say in Italian, ‘mishpacha’ – I don’t know if you have a word, Shelly.

 “Our message is simple and is clear,” Cuomo said, “We stand with Israel and we support Israel’s right to defend itself in this conflict. The delegation represents the entire State government. The executive, the legislature, both houses, its bipartisan. Represents business leaders and family members. The visit demonstrates the deep cultural, social, political and personal relationships that we have with the State of Israel. New York has 1.7 million Jewish people – more than any other place on the globe besides Israel. This is a precarious time. Israel is under attack. Incidents of anti-Semitism are on the rise. The network of tunnels that has been discovered is troubling and demonstrates the extent of the attack. It’s important to make our commitment to Israel clear and its important to make that commitment clear now. As New Yorkers, we know first hand the pain and the fear caused by those who spread terror. Life in New York was forever changed by 9/11. Everyone wants the killing to stop so there is no death. But at the same time, Israel must have the right to defend itself. That is the message that we will convey.”

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As WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported, Cuomo says with Israel under increasing threat and anti-Semitic incidents on the rise, the time is now to make the state’s commitment clear.

“The visit demonstrates the deep cultural, social, political, and personal relationship that we have with the state of Israel,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo announced the trip Sunday, saying the delegation would meet with Israeli leaders and visit residents affected by the fighting.

Joining him are Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate co-leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein.

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