ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is traveling to Israel on an economic development and unity trip. "That will not change".
In a visit to Israel, Cuomo made his first comments following the toppling of headstones at a Jewish cemetery this weekend in Brooklyn.
Members of the panel include Mort Zukerman, owner and publisher of the New York Daily News and the U.S. News and World Report, Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Allen Faigin, and other leaders of the Jewish community in New York State.
Cuomo, seen as a possible Democratic presidential candidate in 2020, is governor of a state with a large Jewish population. "With the recent rise of anti-Semitism, it is more important than ever before to demonstrate the connection between NY and Israel, our intertwined histories and our common futures, and spearhead new economic partnerships to bring our communities closer together". "New York's principles are built on a rock that will not change and the political wings will not change them", he said, alongside Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.
Using the Hebrew word for "here I am", he added, "The second objective of this trip is 'Hineini.' I am here, I have been here before, and I will be here again".
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"New York and Israel have always shared a deep cultural, social and economic bond and I am proud that we are working to make our partnership stronger than ever before", Governor Cuomo said.
Rivlin added that Israel was indebted to President Donald Trump for his condemnation of the attacks, in addition to the words and gestures of Vice President Mike Pence, who visited a vandalized Jewish cemetery in St. Louis.
Cuomo, who returns to New York Monday, will also meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, tour the Western Wall and attend a security briefing at Jerusalem's Old City Police Headquarters.
Cuomo was last in israel in 2014, also on a visit aimed at showing solidarity with israel, that time during Operation Protective Edge.