NY Elected Officials and Community Leaders Support Israel's right to Self-Defense
By Staff Writer
NY, November 20, 2012- New York's elected officials and community leaders stood together with Amb. Ido Aharoni, Israel's Consul General in NY, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of NY, and strongly declared their support for the State of Israel and its right to engage in self-defense after thousands of rockets are fired at Israel from terrorists in Gaza.
Elected officials in attendance included Congress Members Rangel, Nadler, Maloney, Engel, Meeks and Congresswoman-Elect Meng as well as NYS Assembly Speaker Silver, NYC Comptroller Liu, Public Advocate de Blasio, NYC Council Speaker Quinn, Brooklyn DA Hynes and Council Members Garodnick and Vallone Jr.
The event was sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY).
"The purpose of this gathering is to express the unequivocal support for the State of Israel among New York's political, communal, ethnic and faith leaders. The flagrant and unprovoked violence emanating from Gaza must immediately come to an end. Until then, we wholeheartedly support Israel's right to defend herself," Michael S. Miller and Alan S. Jaffe, Executive Vice President and CEO and President, Jewish Community Relations Council of NY.
Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Israel's Consul General in NY:
"Israel and the US. Together we stand in fight against terrorism and our resolve in ensuring a safe environment for our citizens. We stand here today in support of Israel's right of self-defense. As we are standing here today, a red alert is sounding somewhere in Israel. Tzeva Adom. Tzava Adom. Red Alert. Red Alert. Fifteen Seconds. From the moment the red alert is sounded, you have 15 seconds to find shelter. Tel Aviv. Jerusalem. Be'ersheva. Sderot. Ashdod. Ashkelon. And the list goes on. 3.5 Million Israelis are in harm's way of Hamas missiles. Knowing that the people of the State of New York stand with Israel gives them strength. I stand here today thanking you on behalf of the people of Israel for New York's unwavering support of Israel's right of self-defense. Together we stand in good times and bad - that is the meaning of a true friendship,"
Alisa Doctoroff, Chair of UJA-Federation of New York:
"No government, no people can tolerate such constant attacks. We are alarmed by the loss of life and other damage, and hope that a truce can be restored in the near future. We stand by the people of Israel, and with UJA's help, those in need will get aid--psychological care for parents and children in Israel's southern region, aid for those displaced by the attacks, medical equipment, and food and emergency kits for the elderly and disabled."
Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY 15):
"I stand by the people of Israel and strongly condemn the terrorist attacks from Gaza. There is no justification for such violence. While I regret the death of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by these recent airstrikes, I believe Israel has the right to defend itself. The focus now should be on how to bring security to the region until we can agree on a long-term solution."
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY 8):
"I condemn in the strongest terms the current aggression by Hamas against the civilian population in southern Israel. These attacks are entirely without justification and amount to murderous provocations by a terrorist regime which refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist, and which refuses to work toward a peaceful coexistence for both sides. Israel has every right to defend its borders, to repel such attacks, and to target those responsible. I applaud President Obama for his leadership and condemnation of these attacks. I am gratified to see that the Iron Dome missile defense system has worked so well to prevent further bloodshed and destruction in Israel."
Rep. Carolyn J. Maloney (D-NY-14):
"Israel has sustained more than 800 rocket attacks since the start of the year, and more than 120 since November 10th. No country can tolerate that kind of barrage without taking action to protect its population. Israel has every right to take responsible steps to end the assaults on its territory."
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY-17):
"No nation would sit idly by while hundreds of rockets fired by terrorist groups land on their soil. We should expect no less from the state of Israel. I believe the loss of life on both sides is tragic, but the responsibility for it lies with the Hamas terrorists in Gaza who are firing unguided rockets at civilian areas. The United States is correct to stand with Israel as it exercises its right of self-defense. Terrorism is not the way to a solution. Only a bilateral dialogue between the parties can bring peace, and I am hopeful that we will someday reach that point."
Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY-6):
"After days of incessant rocket fire into its territory, Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense to protect its citizens. I want to express in the strongest terms possible that Israel has an absolute right to defend itself against such attacks. I also hope that other countries in the region will not attempt to use Israel's self-defense as an excuse to back-track on vital peace agreements that would undermine regional stability."
Rep. Elect Grace Meng (D-NY-6):
"The State of Israel has an absolute right to defend itself, and it is doing so effectively and precisely. If a terrorist organization were indiscriminately firing rockets into New York City, we would demand our military protect us and our closest allies support us. The United States must stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel at this trying time and support it in pursuing the goals of Operation Pillar of Defense."
Speaker of the NYS Assembly, Sheldon Silver (D):
"As always, I stand with the people of Israel, who have endured months of rocket attacks and who now face escalating violence targeted at civilian populations. These terrorist acts must not be tolerated. Israel has the right and the duty to defend its citizens against this unjustifiable violence. I want to make clear my unwavering support for Israel and my strong condemnation of the attackss."
NYC Comptroller John C. Liu (D):
"While we pray for an end to the fighting and for peace between Israel and Palestine, we support Israel's right to self-defense. We stand with our Israeli brothers and sisters as they take the steps necessary to protect their families and homes."
NYC Pub. Advocate Bill de Blasio (D):
"The State of Israel has every right to defend its people. These indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli civilians represent an affront to everything we stand for. We stand united in solidarity with our friends in Israel as they confront this terror, and urge all cooperation between the US and Israel to protect the innocent. We hope for peace-but the protection of Israeli civilians from further attacks is paramount."
NYC City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn (D):
"Israel has every right to defend itself and its people. During my 2007 visit to Sderot, I experienced first-hand a terrorist attack on the Israeli people and understand the pain and suffering that these attacks have on a nation. I stand by Israel and support their actions to root out terrorism and protect their borders and citizens."
Brooklyn D.A. Charles J. Hynes (D):
"Israel's right to defend itself is indisputable. The missile attacks by Hamas into Israeli sovereign territory have killed civilians and no country would tolerate such actions. This seems to be an endless conflict with no immediate solution but both sides must find a way to end it without more people dying."
NYC Council Member Dan Garodnick, 4th District (D):
"I visited Israel with a City Council Delegation in February 2007 and experienced a rocket attack from Gaza when we were meeting with the mayor of Sderot. The incident represented one of the roughly 2,000 rockets that had been launched in and round Sderot over a six year period. Almost five years after that visit, rockets continue to be launched into Israel -- and nearly 1000 have landed this week alone. The people of Israel have the right to defend themselves against this terror, and we stand with them."
NYC Council Member Peter Vallone Jr., 22nd District (D):
"Several weeks ago, Queens stood together against an anti-Semitic group trying to open an office in Astoria, and we stand with Israel now against these unprovoked missile attacks launched into civilian areas. Israel has always pursued a peaceful solution first, and I fully support the country's right to defend itself."
Former NYC Comptroller, William C. Thompson:
"The recent escalation of hostilities in the Mid-East is troubling and threatens the stability of the region. More than 750 rockets have been launched from Gaza into Israel, and this cannot continue. I stand behind Israel and its people as the country defends itself against this senseless aggression.”