Governor Andrew Cuomo is heading to Israel this weekend, and while it's being billed as an economic development trip, the governor says it's also about also showing solidarity in the face of rising anti-Semitism. Zack Fink filed the following report.
In a show of support for the Jewish community, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced to an audience of mostly orthodox Jewish students in Albany that he plans to visit Israel.
"This weekend, I am going to do an economic development trip to Israel, which is a great economic partner of ours, to talk technology and joint ventures we are working on with new technology, and to talk about security. But I am also going to bring a message of solidarity," Cuomo said.
This would be Cuomo's second trip to Israel as governor. He visited the Jewish state in 2014 when he was running for re-election. This time around, it's an official state trip, not a campaign stop.
"This is a very short trip. I'm literally there for just about a day, and we are going to do economic development meetings and I won't have the opportunity to do much more than that," Cuomo said.
The governor began his day Wednesday by visiting a Jewish community center in Albany, where he addressed the rise in anti-Semitic threats being made at centers like this one all throughout New York State and the country.
"We want to applaud your courage and your stamina. We know that you have been going through a difficult time," Cuomo said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio also faced questions from the press Wednesday about threats against the Jewish community, including the desecration of a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia.
"This is becoming more widespread. and I've been very clear about, an atmosphere of hate has been fostered in recent months in America, and we have to stop it," de Blasio said.
Last week, Cuomo was at the Jewish museum in lower Manhattan, where he pledged $25 million in the upcoming state budget for security at Jewish schools, a promise he reiterated again Wednesday in Albany.