Before traveling to Israel this evening, Governor Cuomo and the other members of the New York State Unity Delegation held a media availability at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Video of the remarks by Governor Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senate Majority Co-Leader Dean Skelos, Senate Majority Co-Leader Jeff Klein and Mortimer B. Zuckerman, is available in TV-quality (h264, mp4) format HERE and on YouTube HERE.
Photos of the event are available HERE.
More information on this trip is available HERE.
Remarks of Governor Cuomo:
"Thank you very much. First to Melissa, I want to thank her very much and the team that worked so hard to set up this trip I want to thank El Al, which has been very helpful in facilitating the arrangement. I am very excited and proud to be part of this Unity Delegation that is going to Israel. As you heard from Melissa, joining the delegation will be the Speaker Sheldon Silver; Co-Senate Leader Dean Skelos; Co-Senate Leader Jeffrey Klein; Mortimer Zuckerman, whos the Executive Chair of Boston Properties, publisher of the Daily News and the Chairman of the U.S. News and World Report; Kenneth Cole, CEO of Kenneth Cole Productions; Neil Cole, President of Iconix Brand Group; Howard Maier, Chairman Emeritus of the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County. Kenneth, Neil and Howard are my brothers-in-law. We would say in Italian, 'mishpacha' I dont know if you have a word, Shelly.
"Our message is simple and is clear. We stand with Israel and we support Israel's right to defend itself in this conflict. The delegation represents the entire State government. The executive, the legislature, both houses, its bipartisan. Represents business leaders and family members. The visit demonstrates the deep cultural, social, political and personal relationships that we have with the State of Israel. New York has 1.7 million Jewish people more than any other place on the globe besides Israel. This is a precarious time. Israel is under attack. Incidents of anti-Semitism are on the rise. The network of tunnels that has been discovered is troubling and demonstrates the extent of the attack. Its important to make our commitment to Israel clear and its important to make that commitment clear now. As New Yorkers, we know first hand the pain and the fear caused by those who spread terror. Life in New York was forever changed by 9/11. Everyone wants the killing to stop so there is no death. But at the same time, Israel must have the right to defend itself. That is the message that we will convey."