By COLlive staff
Shortly after arriving to the capital to participate in the Annual Conference of Mayors, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio accompanied Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat to visit badly wounded Jewish terror victims at Hadassah University Medical Center in Ein Kerem.
During the Saturday night visit, de Blasio said he has been in close contact with Barkat since the terror wave began earlier this month, and expressed solidarity with the people of Israel.
“There’s a joke about Israel, and particularly Jerusalem, being the sixth borough of New York City,” De Blasio said at a press conference. “We feel an extraordinary closeness – our people by blood, by history…we feel such a connection. So when you are going through pain, we feel pain too.”
“When you are attacked, we also feel attacked,” said De Blasio.
Video: Mayor Bill De Blasio speaks in Jerusalem
“We in New York are very familiar with the effects of terrorism,” he added, alluding to the recent anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks that destroyed the Twin Towers, and killed thousands of New Yorkers.
Later, Mayor De Blasio visited the Western Wall and the tunnels accompanied by a large Jewish delegation.
Late Friday night the Mayor visited the Kosel for a personal visit.
On Sunday, he arrived at the Kotel for an official visit in solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people and their heritage.
The mayor received a guided tour of the Kotel with the Rabbi of the Kotel Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich and the Director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation Mordechai Eliav about the history of the area and its deep connection to the Jewish people for generations.
“There is no Jew in New York, no matter what his world view, that is not connected in his heart to the Western Wall,” Rabbi Rabinovich said.
The Mayor stood for a long while in front of the Kotel and prayed with emotion, and place a prayer note in the Wall.
Later, the Mayor visited the tunnels and viewed the latest archaeological discoveries and learned about the history of the area.
The Mayor then signed the Kotel “Guest book,” writing, “it was a great honor for me to visit this holy site, here it reminds us the power of belief in G-d. Thank you for preserving this site for the next generation.”