Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City, has defended Israel against attacks from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and vowed protection for Jewish institutions in New York.
"It's a matter of being consistent with progressive values," de Blasio said. He criticized fellow progressives for supporting the movement to boycott Israel (BDS). “There are plenty of people who support BDS who have advanced degrees and who call themselves progressives.
"I look forward to challenging them, because it’s ahistorical,” the mayor told to a group of congregants at the Hampton Synagogue.
He added that the main purpose of the BDS movement was to undermine Israel's economy.
De Blasio asserted that support for Israel was "a matter of being consistent with progressive values" and added: "We must always learn the painful lessons of history and do something about it.”
He said New York, because of its large Jewish population, had a special obligation to root out the causes and effects of anti-Semitism and vowed protection for Jewish institutions in the city.
“The NYPD will be seen in the front of Jewish community centers, in front of schools,” de Blasio continued. “In the wake of an attack – whether it occurs in Jerusalem, or Tel Aviv, or Buenos Aires, or Brussels – we have one mission – to send a message – to anyone who will do ill to the community that we put up a wall of protection.”