Governor Cuomo: "You must live by the rules that an abuse to one, and an affront to one, is an affront to all and that large fires start as small fires and we must have zero tolerance for any abuse or discrimination on any fellow human being."
Governor Cuomo: "New York's principles were built on a rock. They will not change and the political winds will not change them. To the people of Israel, I say that these acts of anti-Semitism will not be tolerated. New York State has reacted aggressively with extraordinary measures."
Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo toured Yad Vashem with Director of the Libraries Dr. Robert Rozett. The Governor then participated in a memorial ceremony at the Hall of Remembrance with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin where he paid tribute to the victims of the Holocaust. Governor Cuomo also held a media availability with President Rivlin.
AUDIO of the Governor's media availability with President Reuven Rivlin is available here.
PHOTOS of the Governor's media availability with President Reuven Rivlin, tour of Yad Vashem, and participation in the memorial ceremony at the Hall of Remembrance are available here.
A rush transcript of the remarks delivered by President Rivlin and Governor Cuomo during a media availability is below:
President Rivlin: Governor Cuomo, in recent weeks, a dark date, even wave of anti-Semitism truck the United States. Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Missouri, are some of the places in which hate and violence has risen up. And just last night, another attack on a Jewish cemetery in Brooklyn.
Your arrival to Israel in this time is an extremely important signal that the U.S. people and the 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. The same appreciation goes to President Trump, who condemned the recent attacks.
We are deeply touched by Vice President Pence, who came and gave [inaudible] and a voice in fixing the broken gravestones. The fact that so many Christian 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.
We stand here at Yad Vashem. Israel Holocaust Memorial. In the time of the Shoah, few places were safe for Jews. As death was covering Europe, danger followed after the Jews in North Africa and even here in the Middle East. The United States was a rare island of safely. We can never ever let that change. There is one lesson from the Holocaust. Never again. Jews must be safe wherever they are in the world, especially and specifically in the United States. Let us see none of this again.
Thank you, thank you Governor from the bottom of our heart.
Governor Cuomo: Thank you Mr. President. I first want to thank you for the high honor that you showed me and the people of the state of New York today. I want to thank you personally for your attendance and this was short notice and the personal hospitality you have shown us. All of the people of the state of New York appreciate it. I come with a delegation of co-chairs of the commission that we are assembling. Howard Zemsky, who is the head of our empire state development corporation, Linda Mirels who is the chair of the UJA, Allen Fagin who is the vice president of the Orthodox Union. We also have government officials with us from the state police, Michael Cerretto, from the office of counter-terrorism. We have Aaron Kaplowitz. We have my chief of staff Melissa DeRosa. We have David Lobl, and we have Letizia Tagliafierro and we’re going to share some lessons on security.
Touring Yad Vashem was indeed powerful – to use an understatement. It’s a living lesson of what the Jewish people have gone through and what this world allowed them to go through. It reminds us all of the potential dangers. You must live by the rules that an abuse to one, and an affront to one, is an affront to all and that large fires start as small fires and we must have zero tolerance for any abuse or discrimination on any fellow human being.
In New York now and in the United States we had a rash of anti-Semitism – over 100 acts of anti-Semitism – and I’m 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. New York State by its definition is a celebration of diversity. It accepts all. We believe in the spirit of inclusion and we live by discrimination of none. New York’s principles were built on a rock. They will not change and the political winds will not change them. To the people of Israel, I say that these acts of anti-Semitism will not be tolerated. New York State has reacted aggressively with extraordinary measures. More aggressively than any other state in the nation, I am proud to say. We have posted rewards. We have put together a special unit of the state police. We have made it clear that there will be no tolerance for these acts of anti-Semitism. My sadness is that now another generation of young people has had to experience this pain. A pain that for many young people was in the history books, is now very much in their daily lives.
These acts of anti-Semitism have also transpired on college campuses. So, an entirely new generation has been exposed. This trip has two purposes. Number one, while some would weaken the relationship with 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 culture exchange and economic development partnerships. And we’ll be working on that. The second purpose of this trip is, Hineni, I am here. I have been here before. I will be here again. Our relationship is enduring. The relationship between the Jewish community and the people of the state of New York is built on mutual support and respect. It is built on love, and that will not change. You have my word on that as a representative of the people of the State of New York. Thank you Mr. President.