Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr. will be touring Israel with a group of Latino leaders, to lead a "discussion about the future of Jewish/Latino relations, both here and abroad, and take the first steps toward cementing a lifetime bond between these two communities"
From the Gotham Gazette
...I have been to Israel before. I have seen, firsthand, the attacks the
Israeli people face every single day. But the people of Israel
persevere. Now, more than ever, their example deserves our praise and
The horror of the attacks on the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo and
the kosher supermarket—and the subsequent exodus of Jews from Paris—show
us just how critical our support of Israel is right now. As Martin
Niemöller wrote, reflecting on the Nazi atrocities of World War II,
"First they came for the Jews..."
Following these acts of terror, the Paris Grand Synagogue closed for
the first time on Shabbos since World War II. The meaning behind such
imagery cannot be understated. Israel is one of our strongest allies.
Israelis and all Jews must know that our Latino community, and in fact
the American people, are on their side during these troublesome times.
As we saw world leaders standing arm-in-arm in solidarity following
these attacks, we too stand arm-in-arm with Israel and the world's
Does a borough president have an interest in promoting Israel? Of
course. At one point more Jews lived in The Bronx than in Israel, and
our Jewish community remains vibrant and strong. Across the entire city,
Jews and Latinos are already working hand-in-hand on the issues that
unite us, be it economic development, housing, education and more.
Israel has produced and continues to work on some of the most amazing
technological and scientific advancements the world has ever seen.
Israel is a partner in our security, and what keeps their country secure
helps keep our borough and our city secure. Israel is worthy of not
only our respect, but our support.
As we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
next week, we must also remember his message that we are all God's
children, including the people of Israel. "Peace for Israel means
security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to
exist, its territorial integrity," said Dr. King. "Peace for Israel
means security and that security must be a reality."
Both the nation of Israel and Jews everywhere around the world are
under perpetual attack. Their peace today, as Dr. King so eloquently put
it, requires our commitment to their continued security. I will work to
join the Latino and Jewish communities together in new bonds of
strength, and I will help create new friendships during difficult times.
Israelis do not let terrorism and hate keep them down. Neither do Americans, and neither do I.
Read it all at the Gotham Gazette