N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo visits Israel on solidarity trip

Ben Sales

(JTA) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo noted New Yorkers’ deep ties to Israel during a one-day solidarity visit there.

Cuomo, who is running for re-election this year and considered a likely contender for president in 2016, met Wednesday with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Following the meetings, he was slated to meet New Yorkers studying in Israel, as well as visit the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

Traveling with Cuomo in a bipartisan delegation showing support for Israel in the wake of its monthlong conflict in Gaza are state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and State Senate coalition co-leaders Dean Skelos and Jeffrey Klein. New York Daily News owner Mortimer Zuckerman also is on the trip.

Netanyahu thanked Cuomo at their meeting for “standing on the right side of the moral divide” between Israel and Hamas. Cuomo, in his first trip to Israel as governor, said, “We wish you peace.”

“The United States has always been a strong ally of Israel on many, many levels,” Cuomo said. “As New Yorkers, we have many connections, family connections, cultural connections, historic connections, so our relations go very deep.”