NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Before Gov. Cuomo and top state legislators embarked on their trip to Israel Tuesday, Cuomo said the “unity mission” has a clear message during a news conference at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

“Everyone wants the killing to stop, there is no doubt. But at the same time, Israel must have the right to defend itself,” Cuomo said.

As WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported, Cuomo says with Israel under increasing threat and anti-Semitic incidents on the rise, the time is now to make the state’s commitment clear.

“The visit demonstrates the deep cultural, social, political, and personal relationship that we have with the state of Israel,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo announced the trip Sunday, saying the delegation would meet with Israeli leaders and visit residents affected by the fighting.

Joining him are Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate co-leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein.

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