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De Blasio: Part of My Job to Be a Defender of Israel

De Blasio: Part of My Job to Be a Defender of Israel

On Chris Hayes’ Wednesday MSNBC program, “All In,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio elaborated on a speech he gave to American Israel Public Affairs Committee last month in which he said it was part of his job as mayor of New York City to be a defender of the nation of Israel.

Partial Transcript as Follows:

HAYES: Final question, I want to ask you how you see your job. You gave a speech to AIPAC, American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The speech wasn’t on the schedule, it was off the record, but the contents were reported. One of the things that you said that it was part of your job description to be a defender of Israel. And — obviously, we’re not going to resolve the very complicated issues vis-a-vis Israel and Palestine. 

But I’ve got to say, as a New Yorker, I don’t know if that’s true. I voted for this guy, and I don’t know if it’s part of the job description for him to be a defender of Israel. It seems like he has a lot on his plate. Is he the defender of the Ukrainians in the street who are crying out for their right? Is he a defender of the Taiwanese against the One China policy? Is it really part of your job description? 

DE BLASIO: Look, I said something that was personal, I said something that was about my beliefs that we have to defend the state of Israel. And I think it has everything to do with the alliance we have with Israel, the history we have, particularly as New Yorkers, the deep, deep connection we have personally to Israel. 

And I think it’s also a matter of protecting democracy. I think Israel’s stance as a pluralistic society, it deserves respect and it’s been under attack, and I think it is our job to support it. So, that’s me speaking as the mayor of a city, that is the closest to Israel than any city on Earth and it has one of the largest Jewish populations of any city on earth, and I think it is a fair role for me to play.

(h/t RCP Video)

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