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Facing Jewish opponent in heated New York gubernatorial race, Hochul says she plans to visit Israel, promote joint initiatives

New York is home to a large and influential Jewish population – and rising anti-Semitism

New York Governor Kathy Hochul at the Jerusalem Post Conference in New York, Sep. 12, 2022 (Photo: Screenshot)

New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul announced at The Jerusalem Post’s 2022 conference in Manhattan that she will be visiting Israel in an official capacity, though she did not announce when.

The Democrat governor praised Israel as “a unique place that is like no other on this planet,” and said, “I believe that Israel is extraordinary.”

New York is home to the largest number of Jews outside of Israel, a fact that Hochul said she gets “to brag about.”

“We’re very proud of this. It is why we are such a fascinating place and everybody wants to live here; no place on Earth has a larger Jewish population than right here,” she said. 

The governor – who came to power after former Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned in disgrace – is being challenged by Republican candidate Lee Zeldin, who is also Jewish and has a pro-Israel track record in congress.

In her speech, Hochul said that New York would invest money in ZOOZ Power, an Israeli company with patented flywheel technology which aims to build “ultra-fast, sustainable and cost-effective” electric-vehicle, or E.V., charging networks.

“New York’s collaboration with the State of Israel – a hub for innovative, clean energy technologies – will deliver forward-thinking solutions that will strengthen New York’s E.V. infrastructure,” Hochul said.

“We have an opportunity to have the [New York] Power Authority invest $1 million in [the] ZOOZ power startup based in Lod, to advance ultra-fast electrical-vehicle charging technology,” Hochul said, directing her next comment to Israel: “I’m looking to Israel with state-supported money to give to one of your innovators to help you design this technology so we can bring it here to New York.” 

“That’s just the beginning,” she added.

Israel and New York are important trade partners with 293 Israeli start-ups located in the state. Hochul said she wants to deepen the state’s technological and trade relationship with Israel even further. 

“I want to make sure that I bring that talent to continue to foster this synergy,” she said, linking Israel’s creative talent and New York’s opportunities. “We can be stronger working together, and I’m going to be launching a trade mission that deepens that relationship, finds more opportunities for us to do more together, not just in technology [but] overall.”

The governor also spoke about the explosive rise in anti-Semitism and what she has tried to do to curb it, including reforming the state’s bail laws.

“You know, the rise in anti-Semitism is of deep, personal concern to me as a human being and the leader of this state,” she said. “We've worked very hard to reduce those numbers and to make sure that our victims have support, that we’re making sure that we have resources to protect the vulnerable locations – the synagogues, the yeshivas – I’ve visited many, bringing over $68 million to fortify them to make sure they have the latest technologies to protect them.” 

“We made sure that our laws related to bail, now once again, covered hate crimes,” the governor said. “I have a Hate Crimes Task Force. We’re going after the perpetrators of this because that’s something that, until we get it under control, will be a black eye.”

Finally, Hochul declared her commitment to Israel’s security. 

“I am committed to the security of Israel,” she said, “You have to survive and thrive; because, otherwise, we have lost this beacon of hope, this beacon of democracy that is a shining light to other countries around the world of what can be done, what can rise up out of adversity when people pull together.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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