Former NY governor Andrew Cuomo to launch pro-Israel group
Former New York governor Andrew Cuomo appears to be laying the groundwork for launching a pro-Israel group, according to a recent report by Jewish Insider.
The ex-governor, who resigned from his post in 2021 amid allegations of sexual harassment of female staff members and undercounting of Covid-19 nursing home deaths in his state, reportedly discussed his plans in multiple media appearances. This has led to speculation that he will again run for public office.
In his recent media appearances, including his own podcast, he has emphasised his concern over dwindling support for Israel within the Democratic Party. He appears to suggest that criticism of Israel among left-wing Democrats is contributing to a rise in antisemitism.
"I think my own party, the Democratic Party, has to hear this and has to be more active and more engaged," he reportedly said on his podcast.
He said that in the past the Democratic Party was a staunch supporter of Israel, a position he believes has changed significantly.
"The Jewish community should be aware of that, and they do have connections with the Democratic Party," Cuomo reportedly said. "It's now time to communicate to the Democratic Party, 'We need you as a friend, and we need your voice, and we need you to speak up.'"
Cuomo announced his plan for the new group Progressives for Israel earlier this month at an event in New York City marking the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It is unclear why he is putting his focus on the Democratic Party to address antisemitism, given that studies have shown the vast majority of antisemitic acts come from the right wing.
His plan comes at a time of increased scrutiny of Israel over its new far-right government, which has sparked protests by demonstrators of wide-ranging political ideologies throughout Israel and other countries, including the United States.
A recent Gallup poll found the Democrats are now more sympathetic to Israelis than to Palestinians. The party's main leaders, however, remain steadfastly in favour of Israel, and there is little indication of that changing in the near future.
The former governor did not give much further indication of how he would execute the plan for his new organisation or its purpose.
However, it has already led to speculation that he might run for US Senate in 2024 against Kirsten Gillibrand who is up for re-election. Cuomo has reportedly said that he is keeping his options open.