Gov. Hochul visits shelters in Israel: ‘Stand in solidarity’
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Now that Governor Kathy Hochul has arrived in Israel, many people want to know what she’ll be doing there. In her words, she said it’s important to bear witness and hear firsthand from survivors of Hamas attacks.
Her office is not divulging the full itinerary for security reasons, but will be providing daily notes. The governor’s crew is set to be there until Friday, Oct. 20.
After landing on Wednesday, Hochul headed to a hotel that’s been converted into a shelter for displaced Israelis. A spokesperson said she spoke with families there, and saw a whiteboard regularly updated with timings of funerals for those who have been killed.
She toured a large dining hall converted into a shelter, with clothes and toiletries for those who need it.
One man she spoke with said his three children have been kidnapped — ages four, eight and 10.
A 13-year-old girl opened up about how she had to hide in a safe room when most of her neighbors and friends were killed.
A lot of viewers are curious what the motive for her trip is. Hochul said it’s about standing in solidarity. According to a state spokesperson, New York State is home to the largest Jewish population outside of Israel.
“Our number one priority is to make sure we get the people home, who have been taken hostage, it has to be the unified voice of all civilized nations, to call for the return of these hostages safely. But also, to say we defend your right to defend yourself.,” said Hochull.
She stopped at a food pantry, greeted by Eric Goldstein and Dan Rosenthal of United Jewish Appeal Federation, as well as David Greenfield of the Met Council.
“We defend your right to defend yourself, and that’s really important,” she said. “We all have a global fight against terrorism which rears its ugly head, so you’re fighting that battle in countless ways, and we’re dong it right here tonight by taking care of people who need food tonight.”
You may be wondering, how does the trip affect taxpayers? It doesn’t.
According to a state spokesperson, the travel cost is being paid for by an outside nonprofit, while the state is covering costs for a security detail, as standard practice.