Governors Will Continue to Work with the State Department to Ensure the Safe Return of Americans. Letter Comes as Governor Hochul Plans to Travel to Israel This Week to Meet With Diplomatic Leaders and Communities Who Have Been Devastated by the Attacks
The Letter Can be Viewed Here
Governor Kathy Hochul led a bipartisan coalition of 17 governors to stand in solidarity with Israel, issuing a joint letter to federal leaders to express the broad support for Israel and condemnation of terror attacks from Hamas. The governors also reaffirmed their commitment to work with the U.S. Department of State to ensure the safe return of Americans.
“The bonds between America and Israel are unbreakable – now and forever,” Governor Hochul said. “As the Governor of the largest Jewish population outside Israel, I recognize we have a unique and solemn responsibility to support Israel during this critical moment. I’m proud to stand with my fellow Governors to show our support for Israel, and grateful to my colleagues for their bold moral leadership.”
Governor Hochul’s bipartisan letter is the latest step she’s taken to show solidarity with the people of Israel in the wake of Hamas’ terror attacks. In addition, the Governor plans to travel to Israel this week to meet with diplomatic leaders and communities who have been devastated by the horrific Hamas attacks.
Governor Hochul has led New York’s response to the crisis in Israel, offering support to Israeli President Isaac Herzog and meeting with Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan. She has attended multiple vigils and rallies in support of the State of Israel, from Albany to New York City. The Governor has also lit state landmarks in blue and white, the colors of Israel’s flag, raised the Israeli flag above the Governor’s residence in Albany, and directed flags on State buildings to be flown at half-staff to commemorate the victims of the Hamas terror attacks.
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear Speaker McHenry, Leader Schumer, Leader Jeffries, and Leader McConnell:
As Governors representing more than 144,000,000 Americans, we stand with Israel and unequivocally condemn the despicable acts of war and terror perpetrated by Hamas on Saturday, October 7, 2023, which have already claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent people in Israel. In the days since these initial attacks, we have joined with members of our communities to mourn and pray, and we have experienced first-hand the deep emotional toll this horrendous evil has taken on so many. We also know that there are several Americans that have already been confirmed killed as a result of this violence, and we know that number is likely to rise in the days ahead.
We stand united in support of Israel in its efforts to secure the safe return of hostages and ensure the ongoing safety of its people. We commend President Biden for his swift response in providing increased military assistance to Israel, and members of Congress from both parties for their firm statements of support for Israel. We urge immediate and continued U.S. aid to Israel in the weeks and months to come. We also urge the Senate to swiftly confirm nominees to key diplomatic roles in the region, including ambassador roles in Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, Oman, and Kuwait as well as move forward with consideration of all pending military nominations and promotions to ensure that our most experienced leaders are occupying the most important jobs for our national defense.
Each of us has taken action in our respective states to increase security in Jewish communities and at Jewish houses of worship. Given these concerns, and the rise of antisemitism across the country, Congress should ensure funding for states and local governments to support activities and programs to ensure resources to safeguard houses of worship and religious-affiliated groups are available to combat antisemitism at home. We will continue to work with federal, state, and local law enforcement to monitor for potential domestic threats and provide support to community leaders as needed.
We stand ready to provide additional support to Israel and to work with the United States Department of State to ensure the safe return of Americans in Israel. Our prayers remain with those who have been lost, their loved ones, the people of Israel, and the Jewish community worldwide.
Governor Kathy Hochul, State of New York
Governor Gavin Newsom, State of California
Governor Jared Polis, State of Colorado
Governor Ned Lamont, State of Connecticut
Governor John Carney, State of Delaware
Governor JB Pritzker, State of Illinois
Governor Laura Kelly, State of Kansas
Governor Wes Moore, State of Maryland
Governor Maura Healey, State of Massachusetts
Governor Tim Walz, State of Minnesota
Governor Phil Murphy, State of New Jersey
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, State of New Mexico
Governor Roy Cooper, State of North Carolina
Governor Josh Shapiro, State of Pennsylvania
Governor Dan McKee, State of Rhode Island
Governor Spencer Cox, State of Utah
Governor Phil Scott, State of Vermont
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