Gov. Andrew Cuomo will lead a delegation of state officials and business leaders to Israel as a show of “solidarity” this week.
Cuomo’s office announced the two-day trip Sunday night, his first international trip since taking office as governor in 2011, with plans take a commercial flight to Tel Aviv Tuesday evening.
“Friends stand together in times of crisis, and I am proud to lead this bipartisan delegation to Israel to reaffirm our friendship and support,” Cuomo said in a statement. “New York has always had a special relationship with Israel. As Hamas and other terrorist organizations continue to threaten Israel, now is the time to deliver that message of solidarity in person.”
Plans for the trip were first reported by The Wall Street Journal Sunday evening.
The delegation is set to include the Legislature’s top leaders: Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos and Senate Independent Democratic Conference Chairman Jeff Klein.
Also included on the trip is Cuomo’s brother-in-law, fashion designer Kenneth Cole, as well as real-estate magnate and Daily News publisher Mortimer Zuckerman. Howard Maier, the chairman emeritus of the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County will also be in the New York delegation.
The trip comes amid a continuing conflict between Israel and Palestinians that has been waged for more than a month.
Cuomo has rarely left the state as governor, choosing to do so for a handful of fundraisers and once for the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina.