Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined forces this afternoon on the steps of Gracie Mansion where they discussed something Israel and New York have in common–a high risk of terrorism.
“Like Israel, New York City has remained a target for terrorists who seek to destroy them,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the people of Israel stood with us in solidarity knowing that terrorists are only victorious if they frighten people to give up their beliefs, their values, their way of life. That will never happen with Israel and and it will never happen in the United States.”
And although the meeting might be considered a slight to Mr. Obama’s lack of making time for Mr. Netanyahu, Mr. Bloomberg specifically praised the president’s “excellent speech” at the U.N. this week and gave Mr. Obama credit for taking a tougher stance with Iran.
“The fact is the most painful and tragic lessons of the 21st-Century is regimes based on racial superiority and religious hatred can’t be trusted to keep their word to the international community,” he said. “When we say, ‘Never again,’ we must mean it. It requires us to to draw certain lines before we reach the point of no return.”
For his part, Mr. Netanyahu thanked Mr. Bloomberg and stressed the close relationship his country has with the United States.
“We’re in close consultations with the United States about this issue: How we can practically prevent Iran from moving ahead and make them abandon their nuclear weapons program,” he said. “We believe it’s achievable working towards that goal.”
He added, “I can think of no better place of what it means to have a free civilization and what are the potentials of a free people than here in Gracie Mansion Next to Mayor Bloomberg and all of you.”
And with that, they walked inside to talk away from the reporters with cameras and audio recorders.