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New York City Mayor Eric Adams met privately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the second day of his trip to Israel. Everyone jokes with each other; vegan honey tested.
Adams' trip to Israel has so far turned out to be a combination diplomatic trip and spiritual vacation, a rite of passage for the New York mayor. On Tuesday, he also visited Jerusalem's Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and met with two supporters of the country's pro-democracy protest movement.
But the mayor has made it clear that he has no intention of taking part in the challenges facing Israel, which Netanyahu's far-right government has turned against.Limitation of Israeli Judiciary, which sparked widespread protests.
"I have heard," he told reporters from the meetings. "Don't interfere. I think the people of Israel will decide their fate."
Adams also cited the perplexing issues he faces at home, including an influx of migrants at the southern border, that has separated him from President Biden.
"I'm facing a lot of challenges in my city and I don't want anybody to step in and interfere with how I address them," he said.
Adams and Netanyahu each gave few details about the meeting and posted photos of the leaders smiling together. The mayor said Netanyahu discussed judicial reform but not West Bank settlements; they discussed Israel's vaccination campaign during the coronavirus pandemic and tasted vegan honey from Israel, which does not involve bees.
Adams, who is mostly vegetarian, said it was delicious.
Netanyahu's office said they discussed "endless opportunities for cooperation" and Israeli production of alternative proteins, including plant-based kebabs.
"You are a great friend of Israel," Netanyahu said in a video with the mayor. "You live in a city that is the intellectual, cultural and financial center of the world, and we are another center, and I think that if we combine these centers, we will make everyone's life better."
Earlier in the day, Adams, a moderate Democrat with close ties to New York's ultra-Orthodox community, met with two people involved in the pro-democracy protests:Karina Hong, teacher andGigi Levy-Wess, a businessman. But even so, the mayor seems inclined to avoid controversy. Nahon and Levy-Weiss are not the most prominent voices in the movement, but they support the protests.
Levy-Weiss told columnist Thomas Friedman in June"We all realize that we can no longer stand idly by."
heThe mayor said on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter), they had an "honest conversation" and "loved the opportunity to hear your different perspectives."
Adams' passionate meeting with Netanyahu brought positive headlines for the prime minister at a time when the Israeli government, under fire for cracking down on armed Palestinian fighters, launched alargest air raidFor almost two decades on the West BankPushing Israel further into a religiously conservative state.
Sir. Adams has often spoken about his Christian faith and said God told him he wanted to be mayor. He said his visit to the church was an emotional time for him and that he was reminded of his late mother Dorothy. 2021.
"This is where she always wanted to be," he told The New York Times in a brief interview. "When I stood by the stone where Jesus lay, I wanted to have a special thought, and I spoke of her memory."
Many Jewish leaders in New York praised the mayor's visit and his efforts to meet with various officials.
David G. Greenfield, the Orthodox head of the Metropolitan Council, a Jewish nonprofit organization in New York, who traveled with Adams, said that "a New York mayor who represents more Jews and Holocaust survivors is certainly appropriate" Meet Israel's Prime Minister more than any other city in the world. "
Mr. Adams wrote in an articleJerusalem Post articleOn Tuesday, he realized that his visit came at a "critical time for Israel".
"As the mayor of a city where residents can have very different and opposing views on many issues, I understand the importance of resolving contentious issues and having difficult discussions," he wrote. "Democracy is never easy. Only by confronting our differences can we become stronger."
Back home, Adams faced enormous challenges, struggling with the influx of immigrants from the southern border. About 82% of New York votersSiena College StudyThey see the immigration crisis as a "serious problem" and disapprove of the mayor's handling of the issue, 47 percent to 31 percent.
Earlier on Tuesday, Adams visited Yad Vashem and the Yad Vashem Museum.The new exhibition will be titled "The Book of Names".A long row is filled with the names of the 4.8 million Jews who were killed during the Holocaust.
Delivering a message of public safety and speaking out against escalating anti-Semitic attacks in New York, Adams laid a wreath at the memorial and said he was impressed by those who "remained silent" and allowed the Holocaust to happen. go through. "
"This is a time for reflection, this is a time for renewal, this is a time for commitment, not just to say 'never happen' but to live 'never again,'" he said.
Adams' predecessor,bill de blasioMet with Netanyahu during a visit to Israel in 2015.Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg met with2009 foreign trip with then Prime Minister Ehud OlmertWith Mr. Netanyahu at Gracie Mansion2012 i New York.
The mayor's trip was not well received at all. J Street, a pro-Israel liberal advocacy group, has criticized Mr Netanyahu,Says Adams should not have met with settler movement leaders. Republican mayoral challenger Curtis Sliwa in 2021criticizing him for attacking Jerusalem's nightlifeAnd New York City had "slid into disaster."
Brad Lander, leftist comptroller and top elected Jewish leader of New York City,Urges Mr. Adams to meet with Palestinian families, referring to people whose houses were demolished in Masafer Yatta in the West Bank.
"With Israeli democracy at risk, mayors cannot simply listen to those who are most destructive to democracy," Rand said of Netanyahu.
Fabien Levy, Adams' deputy mayor for communications, said the mayor attended two events in Jerusalem that were also attended by Palestinians.
"Tomorrow we will continue to hear more diverse voices," he said.
Ed Shanahan and Patrick Kingsley are from New York and Beersheva, Israel, respectively.
Emma FitzsimmonsHe is the Chief of Staff to the City Council and is responsible for political affairs in New York City. He has previously covered topics within traffic and breaking news. Mere om Emma G. Fitzsimmons
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