Any New Yorkers who fail to realize that their interests coincide with those of Israel are living in denial, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told Jewish leaders this week.
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"Any New Yorker who doesn't understand that Israel's fight is our fight is living not in the state of New York but in the state of denial," said Cuomo, a Democrat running for reelection in a state with a significant Jewish population, the New York Daily News reported Wednesday.
Cuomo made the comment during a briefing with several dozen national Jewish leaders Tuesday to discuss his trip to Israel last month.
The governor flew to Israel last month to demonstrate solidarity with Israel during the Gaza war, in his first international trip since taking office in 2011.
Cuomo did not accept an invitation from the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations to visit the Palestinian territories during his packed 28-hour visit. "This trip is to show solidarity with Israel and that's what we're going to do," he said at the time, noting that there are 1.7 million Jews in New York State, more than any other place except Israel.
While he was in Israel, Cuomo met with political leaders including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and former President Shimon Peres, visited an Iron Dome anti-missile battery in Ashdod and entered a Hamas tunnel discovered by Israeli forces, the Daily News reported.
The next New York State gubernatorial election will take place November 4.