JERUSALEM (JTA) – “There will be no tolerance for these acts of anti-Semitism,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a weekend visit to Israel.
“We must live by the rules that an abuse to one, an affront to one, is an affront to all, and that large fires start as small fires, and we will have zero tolerance for any abuse or discrimination of any fellow human being,” Cuomo said Sunday during a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. “In the United States now we have had a rash of anti-Semitism, over 100 acts of anti-Semitism, and I am sad to say also in my state, the state of New York. It is disgusting, it is reprehensible, it violates every tenet of the New York State tradition.”
He added: “To the people of Israel, I say that these acts of anti-Semitism will not be tolerated.”
Cuomo continued: “This trip has two purposes; number one, while some would weaken the relationship between the people of the State of New York and our Jewish brothers and sisters, the purpose of this trip is to strengthen those relationships through cultural exchange, through economic development partnerships, and we’ll be working on them. The second purpose of this trip is ‘Hineini,’ I am here, I have been here before, and I will be here again.”
Cuomo last visited Israel in the wake of the 2014 Gaza War, also on a whirlwind 24-hour trip.
Rivlin thanked Cuomo for his visit and said, “Your arrival to Israel at this time is an extremely important signal that the U.S. people and government will not let anti-Semitism win. On behalf of the State of Israel, I would like to express our appreciation for your visit and for the clear and powerful message you have sent.”
Rivlin added: “The same appreciation goes to President Trump, who condemned the recent attacks. And we are deeply touched by Vice-President Pence who went and gave a hand – and a voice – in fixing the broken gravestone. The fact that so many Christians and Muslims, came to aid the Jewish communities sends the clearest message against racism and hatred. It is a sign of great hope and civil courage.”
Last month, Pence visited a vandalized Jewish cemetery in St. Louis and helped volunteers clean up the area.
Cuomo was scheduled to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later on Sunday. The visit also was meant to bolster economic ties between Israel and New York State.