Cuomo Calls for Stronger Collaboration with Israel

NEW YORK – The challenges the United States of America is facing in dealing with global terror requires it to forge an even stronger and bolder alliance with Israel, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday.

“Now is a moment to forge a collaboration with Israel, stronger, bolder, than ever before,” said Cuomo. “Prime Minister Netanyahu was right: the enemy for the terrorists is modernity. The enemy is democracy. For so many years, it was just Israel’s location that made them the prime target, but the fundamental battle impacts this country and every democracy on the globe, and that’s why these collaborations are more important than ever before.”

“The fellowship between Israel and the United States of America, I believe, comes at a critical time,” he added.

The New York Governor’s remarks were given at the launch of the Mort Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program, a transformative initiative designed to support future generations of leaders in science, technology, engineering and math in the United States and Israel, at the Harvard Club in New York City.

Cuomo recounted his first trip to Israel, in which former Prime Minister Shimon Peres told him: “Terrorism is much more real to Israel than it is in America. You can understand it intellectually, but you don’t live with it every day. The way we do and when you live with it every day takes on a different impact in your life.”

The program, as unveiled at the event, will give U.S. post-doctoral researchers and graduate students the ability to collaborate with leading researchers at Israel’s top four research institutions – the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Tel Aviv University, and the Weizmann Institute of Science. In the next twenty years alone, the program intends to provide over $100 million in scholarships and related educational activities that will benefit participating scholars and universities and the general public.

“New York and Israel share a deep and unparalleled connection – and the Zuckerman Scholars Program is a prime example of how we can keep that relationship strong today and in the future,” said Governor Cuomo. “This program gives us a new model for cooperation and partnership that will ultimately better society as a whole. This is a great way to strengthen the bond between Israel and the Empire State.”

Addressing the event via video, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Mort Zuckerman for his “consistent support” and for “standing up” for the truth. “You are indefatigable and courageous.”

“This project will help bring back home some of Israel’s most brilliant sons and daughters, allow them to advance their own careers here and in so doing contribute to Israel’s growing scientific excellence. It will also enable some of America’s brightest young scientists to conduct their research in Israel,” said the Prime Minister.

“At a time when collaboration is essential to advanced scientific research, this program gives the next generations of leading American and Israeli academics the ability to work together on cutting edge research in ways that stand to benefit their fields for years to come,” said Zuckerman. “The result will help transform not just the work of the scholars involved, but the way the United States and Israel approach collaboration and cooperation across the sciences.”

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