New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (AP/Hans Pennink) (AP/Hans Pennink)
Andrew Cuomo

Denouncing anti-Semitism as “repugnant,” Cuomo will travel to Israel to show solidarity with the Jewish People. 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is traveling to Israel this weekend in a gesture of solidarity spurred by acts of anti-Semitism at Jewish cemeteries, college campuses and community centers across the US.

Cuomo announced the trip Wednesday during a speech to Orthodox Jewish students, parents and teachers advocating at the US Capitol for increased funding for religious schools.

“I want to say to the people of Israel and I want to say to the Jewish community, ‘In New York, you are not alone, and every person in the state of New York with any decency and understanding of what it means to be a New Yorker stands with you at this moment,'” Cuomo stated.

Cuomo denounced local and national incidents of vandalism and threats as “repugnant,” echoing a speech he gave earlier Wednesday at the Sidney Albert Albany Jewish Community Center.

Since January, some 90 bomb threats have been called into Jewish organizations in five waves, the latest occurring on Monday.

Similarly, two Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia and St. Louis were vandalized and desecrated.

According to the latest FBI statistics, the number of anti-Semitic criminal offenses rose from 635 in 2014 to 695 in 2015.

Cuomo, who last visited Israel in 2014, said the visit will focus on economic development, technology and security collaboration with Israeli leaders.

‘New York and Israel Share Unbreakable Bond’

In December, Cuomo has placed four Dutch companies on a blacklist for their financial boycott of Israel. A total of 13 companies and institutions, in other countries as well, were placed on the blacklist.

New York state government agencies have refrained from doing business with these 13 firms since June because of their boycotts of Israel.

This significant move on New York’s part follows Cuomo’s June executive order, the first in the US, which forces state entities to drop investments linked to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

“This order sends the message that this state will do everything in its power to end this hateful, intolerant campaign,” the governor said. “New York and Israel share an unbreakable bond, and I pray that the Israeli and Palestinian people will find a way to live side by side and find peace, prosperity and security.”

Cuomo said he would like to every governor in the nation sign similar executive orders against BDS.

By: AP and United with Israel Staff