Mayor Eric Adams delivered powerful remarks at a flag-raising ceremony for Israel, marking the 75th anniversary of the nation’s founding. Both the American and Israeli flags were raised together in Bowling Green Park. Adams reaffirmed New York’s unwavering support for Israel and our communities’ enduring bond. “It is an honor to stand with our Israeli brothers and sisters as we remind the world that New York City will always stand with you,” offered the mayor.

“New York City stands side by side with our neighbors, the largest Jewish population in the world outside of Israel, to honor three-quarters of a century promoting peace and security in the Middle East and hope and opportunity across the globe. On Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, we celebrate freedom for those in Israel and around the world.”

The mayor continued, “We know that New York is the Tel Aviv of America. We have the largest Jewish population outside of Israel right here. And on my two visits there, and getting ready to return again, we know what the Israeli people stand for and what they represent across the entire globe. Built into your culture is what you call mitzvah. You believe in giving back. You believe in ensuring that you help your fellow man and woman. That is who you are. And so, when we stand here and celebrate your anniversary, your independence, your creation, that is also a celebration for those who have touched you in many ways.”

Adams did not shy from the horrors that Jews have faced. “We also must reflect on a reminder of the dark and ugly parts of what has impacted your culture and your people. When I was in Kraków and went to the camps, walking through there, seeing the tragedies in horrors that is unspeakable, the number of young people who don’t know their great-grandparents and great aunts and great uncles because they lost them during the Holocaust. It must be a reminder that we can never stand by again and watch hate start out as words and turn into action. That is my commitment as the mayor of this city. To say, first, thank you for being part of this great city. In saying that, I am looking forward to raising this flag to show the solidarity that New York City has with the people of Israel.”

The city and state were flooded in blue in honor of the historic milestone birthday. The blue and white lights demonstrated the eternal strength of the bond between New York City and the State of Israel that continues to evolve and flourish each day. Together, we realize the dream of a vibrant Jewish democratic State of Israel; it is nothing short of a miracle, and we do not take it for granted.

By Shabsie Saphirstein