Mayor de Blasio Doubles Down Following Criticism: I’m An ‘Unabashedly Pro-Israel’ Advocate

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BDB-satmarBill de Blasio isn’t backing down from his role as a staunch supporter and defender of the State of Israel. Despite the national criticism over his closed-door AIPAC speech last month, Mayor de Blasio said Monday he remains an ‘unabashedly pro-Israel’ advocate.

In a radio appearance Monday morning, the mayor was asked whether the speech to AIPAC fits into his brand as an outspoken progressive? “Of course it’s a very complicated dynamic in the Middle East,” the mayor told Brian Lehrer on WNYC radio program. “I think that the core of this is I’m unabashedly pro-Israel–meaning: the state of Israel, the survival of Israel, the sense of alliance that this country needs to have with Israel. I think Israel is in constant danger. I think, bluntly, there’s been some real indications of sustained antisemitism all over the world.”

But Mayor de Blasio cautioned that he still disagrees with some of AIPAC’s hawkish stances, especially on their lobbying for the Iran sanctions bill. ”That doesn’t mean I agree with every policy by the Israeli government at any given moment, of course,” he said. “I’ll obviously have my differences with any given organization or any given foreign government.

He reiterated his support for the deal reached with Iran in Geneva, siding with President Obama and Hillary Clinton opposing additional sanctions on the ayatollah regime. “Where I agree with President Obama is on sanctions. I think the deal that has been struck with Iran is an incredible first step,” he said. “I think the deal that has been struck with Iran is an incredible first step. I think it has to be watched very, very carefully. I think if there’s backsliding by Iran, there has to be very serious steps taken to address it.”

“But my core point here is: As the mayor of the city has a certain extraordinary deep tie to Israel and the huge Jewish population that we have, I do think it’s incumbent upon me to defend the state of Israel in the context of a very hostile world.”

Last week, Malcolm Hoenlein, vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, lauded mayor de Blasio for understanding the importance of standing up and speaking out for what he believes in.

“When Moses turned over the leadership to Joshua, he summed up what a leader has to be in two words: ‘Chazak V’ematz’ – be strong and have the courage. There are a lot of leaders who have the convictions but no strength. There are a lot who have the strength but no convictions. A real leader has to have both, and the courage to stand up when it’s not popular,” Hoenlein said Thursday night as he introduced Senator Chuck Schumer to deliver the keynote speech at Councilman Chaim Deutsch’s inauguration.

“And I want to say, we have two great examples of that in our city – one is Chuck Schumer, who stood up on the Iran sanctions bill, as he has on some any other things, because it wasn’t easy. And because of him others followed. And the second one – Mayor de Blasio, standing up when he went to AIPAC and said, ‘I as mayor will stand up for the state of Israel’, regardless of those who were against it. That is what a public official has to be. They have to stand up and speak out and have the courage of their convictions,” he said.

(Jacob Kornbluh – YWN)


5 COMMENTS

  1. Maybe it’s time for Jewish voters in New York City to recognize that unless the Mayor of New York can send money or troops to Israel – which the mayor actually cannot do – the “support” that any New York mayor gives to Israel is mere pandering lip service to Jewish voters. I would like to see all New York city public officials say they have little or no authority over US foreign affairs, and any support for Israel – or Klopstockia, or Fredonia, or Boratestan, or wherever – is pandering lip service of no consequence to any of those nations.

    If someone can tell me why a New York mayor’s foreign policy has any significance outside the Five Boroughs, I would like to read it here.

  2. Why does anyone care what this career lefty’s opinion is on national or international issues? Just shut up and get all the streets plowed by tonight.

  3. “what this career lefty’s opinion is”

    He isn’t a career lefty. Look at his record of support for special interest projects like the Atlantic Yards.

  4. To chuck hall: the guy ran a campaign on the platform of “tale of two cities” income redistribution with a soak the rich tax for universal pre-k as his signature legislation. I’m not expecting to see him at the next tea party rally.

  5. “To chuck hall:

    My name isn’t Chuck. Chuck is the name of the groundhog at the Staten Island Zoo.

    ” the guy ran a campaign”

    And he snookered both the Left and the Right in that campaign.

    “soak the rich tax”

    It isn’t a “soak the rich tax”, just a small increase in the income tax for upper income earners. That is better than the massive increases in property taxes that the frum hero Bloomberg put through.

    ” for universal pre-k as his signature legislation”

    Universal pre-k is a good idea.