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New York City Mayor Eric Adams’s Israel trip sparks controversy, outrage

New York, (The Palestine Information Centre)New York City Mayor Eric Adams’s three-day trip to Israel, including a meeting with prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a “senior settler leader,” has triggered a widespread backlash and controversy.

New York City Council member Tiffany Caban on a social media platform on Thursday called the visit “outrageous and irresponsible”.

“What message does [Mayor Adams’s] tour of Israel send to tens of thousands of Palestinian New Yorkers?” Caban wrote on X, which was formerly known as Twitter.

“This year alone, Israeli soldiers and settlers have killed over 170 Palestinians in the West Bank,” Caban added.

Adams said he did not speak with Netanyahu about the settlements.

“I did not go into any conversations with settlements. That was not mentioned at all in the meeting when we met with other leaders. At no time did we talk about settlements. That is not why I’m here,” Adams said in a virtual briefing with reporters.

On Tuesday, Adams had a private meeting with Netanyahu. Later talking to reporters, Adams said that he did not want to comment on the issues confronting Israel.

“I listened. I didn’t weigh in. I think the people of Israel will determine their destiny,” he said.

“I have many challenges in my city, and I wouldn’t want someone to come in and interfere in how I work them out.”

While Adams and Netanyahu did not discuss the illegal settlements in the West Bank, they talked about Israel’s vaccine campaign during the pandemic, and according to the New York Times, they both tasted vegan honey.

“We have an unbreakable bond, New York and Israel, and we’re going to continue to build on that, and I am blessed to continue to do so as the mayor,” he said.

Several New York leaders, Jewish Americans and Palestinian Americans accused the mayor of “siding with oppressors”, calling the trip “outrageous” as it came during anti-Netanyahu protests in Israel and a migrant crisis in New York.

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