FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 29, 2008
REMARKS BY MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG ON ISRAEL'S RIGHT TO DEFEND ITSELF AGAINST TERROR ATTACKS
Following are the Mayor's remarks today delivered in Rockefeller Center
"I just wanted to say that I feel very strongly that Israel really does have a right, in fact an obligation, to defend itself against terrorist attacks. New Yorkers certainly know what it's like to be targeted by terrorists and we also know the importance of fighting back, and I really do want to strongly condemn the repeated attacks on Israel and Hamas's decision to break last summer's ceasefire. I think we all had great hopes last summer that people could live together in peace and that, unfortunately, at the moment is not the case.
"The last time I was in Israel I did see the effect of those attacks on the Israeli people. I visited Sderot where the mayor showed me what daily life is under a constant barrage of rocket attacks from Gaza, and, I saw and I heard during that visit, and it's come back to me time and time again over the last few weeks just as the holiday season shared this year by Jews and Muslims and Christians was shattered when Hamas broke the ceasefire and launched rocket attacks against - and mortar attacks - against Israel. I think both the Bush Administration and the Obama team have been clear that Hamas must end its terrorist attacks, and I stand firmly behind Israel and all we can do is pray for a more peaceful 2009.
"Everybody should have a right to live their lives without worrying about their safety, whether it's safety on the streets from criminals or attacks by terrorists coming in from the air or suicide bombers or anything else. We just have to find a way in 2009 to stop killing each other, which, unfortunately, terrorists seem determined to continue to do."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958