Governor Hochul: "We have an opportunity to have the power authority invest $1 million in a ZOOZ power startup, based in Lod, to advance ultrafast electrical vehicle charging technology. I'm looking to Israel with State-supported money to give to one of your innovators to help you design this technology so we can bring it here to New York."
Hochul: "I am committed to the security of Israel because you have to survive and thrive. Because otherwise, we have lost this beacon of hope, this beacon of democracy that is a shining light to other countries around the world of what can be done, what can rise up out of adversity when people pull together. And institutions like the Jerusalem Post put a spotlight on those successes and those stories and motivate others around the world to emulate the story of Israel and the Jewish people."
Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul delivered remarks at the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York City.
AUDIO of the event is available here.
PHOTOS of the event are available on the Governor's Flickr page.
A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:
Good morning. First of all, welcome back. After three years, we embrace this conference. I could feel the energy as soon as I walked into this room, people seeing each other, they've not been able to give a hug without a mask on for a very long time. So, welcome back. Also, love the video. I'm going to stand here and say, in my opinion, Moses made the right turn. I believe that Israel is extraordinary and the contributions, not just to being an oasis of democracy in a world where that has not always revered the way we revered in our two countries, but also the opportunities that I see as Governor are extraordinary.
I do want to acknowledge Yaakov Katz for your leadership of this organization. I suspect you were not there for 90 years, but you're positioning it for the next 90 years. Also, a good, good friend of ours, Ron Lauder, is the president of the World Jewish Congress. Thank you and Joe for your leadership at a time when we need rational voices in the world. Politics in our own country as well. I thank you for that.
Great to see our Mayor is here from Jerusalem. I hope to have a visit with you. I'm not going to announce any dates, but I'm coming because I have an 87-year-old father born, he was once a steelworker up in Buffalo, New York, Irish Catholic, and all he wanted to do before he died was go to Israel. And we made that trip possible a few years ago. I was Lieutenant Governor. I couldn't leave at the time, but I said, "Dad, I'm going as well." And he made sure that he wanted all of his children to experience really the spiritual awakening that occurs when you go to this unique place that is like no others on this planet.
Also, our Consul General to New York, Zamir. I've spent many times having very intense conversations about our relationships, how we can strengthen them, but also marching in wonderful parades and on. I thank you for all you're doing. I understand our Minister of Defense may be here as well, Benny Gantz. I'm not sure if he's arrived yet either.
First of all, I get to brag about the fact that New York is the home to more Jews outside of Israel. And we're very proud of this. It is why we are such a fascinating place and everybody wants to live here. No place on Earth has a larger Jewish population than right here. And when you think about, well, what this community has to endure, and let's just hit it right out there. You know, the rise in antisemitism is of deep, personal concern to me as a human being and the leader of this State. And that is why we've worked very hard to reduce those numbers and to make sure that our victims have support, that we're making sure that we have resources to protect the vulnerable locations. The synagogues, the yeshivas - I've visited many, bringing over 68 million to fortify them to make sure they have the latest technologies to protect them. That is what I can do.
We also had to make some serious changes to some laws. There's a lot of talk if you read our news, I don't know if you do that over in Jerusalem or not. Maybe you're too busy reading the Jerusalem Post all the time. If you catch our news at all, you know, there's talk about crime in New York. And for me to say, it's the safest big city in America, which it is, doesn't give anybody comfort if you still have that sense of anxiety, particularly if you're a Jewish young man walking down the street with a yarmulke on. As a 13-year-old once told me, he asked me when I went to his yeshiva, "I'm afraid I'm going to be knocked down on the street if I wear this. My friend said I should not identify this way." I said, "No, you wear that proudly because you're upholding a tradition for generations where you've honored who you are and you're going to pass it on to your own children." But I don't want any child to have that anxiety.
So, we made sure that our laws related to bail, now once again, covered hate crimes. I have a Hate Crimes Task Force. We're going after the perpetrators of this because that's something that until we get it under control, we'll be a black eye. And I am committed to making sure we work on that as well. Also, it was heartbreaking to me on one of my many visits to the Museum of Jewish Heritage - I love going there. We have hosted many events there. We make announcements. To know that, first of all, we have Holocaust survivors in this City. We're very proud of that. I've met many of them, but 40 percent of them are living in extreme poverty. And I spoke to one woman who - I sat down with 10 women and they told me their experiences of how they had their childhood robbed away from them. And I thought, how cruel it is that you had your childhood robbed from you, and yet your later years in life, you have to worry about prescriptions and food on the table.
So, I'm committed also as Governor to making sure we had the resources to lift them up and give them the dignity that they were denied as children. But what one of those women also told me, she says "I'm afraid because I'm starting to see the forces around the world that I saw when I was a child when Hitler came to rise, and people turned on each other, and it ultimately led to the Holocaust where both family members, grandparents were killed." I don't want her to have that fear in my country, in our country here either. And that is why I am dedicated to using State resources to ferret out out the social media messages and platforms that are purveyors of this hate because it is spreading. It's spreading like a virus. And it's not just antisemitic hate, it's racism. And I'm from Buffalo, you know what happened in my hometown, 10 minutes from where I live, where someone who has had his brains polluted, feeding on social media platforms, and the Christchurch Massacre, and reading what happened at the Tree of Life massacre in Pittsburgh. All these messages led him to believe that he could be the next person to get his name out there and massacre people in Buffalo, New York, who were simply grocery shopping.
We have to stand together, my friends, united as two countries, and certainly the State of New York with Israel, to call it out, ferret out, identify the people who are perpetrating these messages before it does any further damage. I have the State Police dedicated, as we triple the size of our task force monitoring all these messages. In fact, there was a message that we had to track down on Long Island, just a couple of days ago. And it was hateful. So, let's deal in the reality that's going on, but also, we have to make sure that the stories of the Holocaust are understood still in this country as well because I believe that as that disinformation, the deniers out there, who are allowing this to be fed upon. And so, as the last time I was at the museum I talked about how I'm going to have accountability. Yes, we have a law in the books that says our schools are supposed to teach the stories of the Holocaust. But I don't remember my children bringing home books to learn about this. I'm not sure I remember learning about it as a child in school.
So, I'm having accountability to make sure that it is being taught, that we make sure people know the lessons of the past to make sure that they're never ever repeated today or in the future. That is my commitment. But also I'm so excited about the opportunities to share technology, and the innovation of the companies that come out of Israel. There's something really special there. There's something unique. And I want to make sure that I bring that talent to continue to foster this synergy between our opportunities as a State, but also what we're seeing happen with the creative talent in Israel. We can be stronger working together and I'm going to be launching a trade mission that deepens that relationship, finds more opportunities for us to do more together, not just in technology overall and all the great things that we've come up with in Israel, I'm looking at the companies, we know all these global names. I love unicorns, by the way. I'm happy when unicorns are born in New York, too, so that's okay.
But we wanted people to be successful because successful businesses, they hire people. They give people opportunities, they lift them up. So, your success can be tied to our success as well, as our largest trade partners and something we're very excited about. So, I'm going to continue doing that. I don't have a lot of time. I have about three hours worth of speech here to give, but I do want to say that we did have a competition. I'm very proud of the fact that we had a competition that talked about connection with new electric vehicles and how we can fund them. So, I want to talk about - we have a winner here. I can find this - I'll announce it later, but Empire State Development made sure that we have our - let's see, our exports are $4.5 billion. I want to make sure I got that number out there. $4.5 billion in exports and made sure that we have a competition called Grow New York, Illuminate Genius New York. And what we've done is made sure that we have an opportunity to have the power authority invest $1 million in a ZOOZ power startup, based in Lod to advance ultrafast electrical vehicle charging technology.
I'm looking to Israel with State-supported money to give to one of your innovators to help you design this technology so we can bring it here to New York as well. That's what I'm talking about, so I'm proud to announce that million-dollar announcement today. And that's just the beginning. That's just the beginning.
So, you can tell I'm energized, I'm fired up about this relationship because I've been looking forward to deepening this. I think about this when I was like member of Congress for a decade. Somehow, the most Republican district in the State of New York elected me as their elected official in Washington. I went there and I joined two committees. One, I was on the arm services committee. The other one, I was on the Homeland Security Committee. You know why? Because I knew that there were threats around this globe. We studied the patterns of where Hezbollah was getting a stronghold in our own country. And in North America. I went to the Middle East. I went to Afghanistan, I went to Bahrain so I could see what the Sixth Fleet was doing to protect the straits and our waterways.
So, I want you to know from that history as well. I am committed to the security of Israel because you have to survive and thrive because otherwise, we have lost this beacon of hope, this beacon of democracy that is a shining light to other countries around the world of what can be done, what can rise up out of adversity when people pull together. And institutions like the Jerusalem Post put a spotlight on those successes and those stories and motivate others around the world to emulate the story of Israel and the Jewish people. So thank you very much for the opportunity, we're going to do so much more together. I look forward to seeing you, and I will see you in Israel. Thank you. Thank you.