Editorial: Israel trip is just for show
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and top legislative leaders will be on a plane to Israel tonight in what they say is a show of solidarity between the New York state and the Jewish state.
One question: Why?
What is the point of them going, other than as a campaign photo op for the 1.54 million Jews in New York who are critical to their re-election this fall, and to Cuomo's possible presidential bid in the future? Israel doesn't need New York's support to justify its existence or its actions. It's not getting military aid from the state budget. In the day or so that they're going to be there, will they be able to negotiate new private or government business contracts for the state? Doubtful.
Traveling with the governor will be Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senate co-leaders Dean Skelos Jeffrey Klein and some private citizens.
We doubt they'll be dumb enough to charge taxpayers for this political jaunt, although they might be arrogant enough. Spokespeople for the men were quoted in several recent articles as saying it hadn't been determined how the trip would be paid for — as if you and I would plan an overseas vacation without first figuring out where the money was coming from. That raises suspicions right there that we taxpayers eventually might be getting a bill.
This trip is a giant show designed to boost nothing but the political fortunes of those who are going. Don't be fooled into thinking it's anything else.