The itinerary for Mayor Eric Adams next week — a flight to Israel where he’ll travel to Jerusalem and then Tel Aviv — comes at a time when the country is convulsing over a controversial push from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to limit the judiciary.
The topics include meeting with leaders, learn about the tech scene there, and discuss ways to combat anti-Semitism.
What You Need To Know
- Mayor Eric Adams is flying to Israel Monday, where he’ll visit Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, before going back to New York Thursday
- Adams’ plans to visit Israeli political and business leaders at a time of political instability over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to limit the judiciary
- UJA Federation of New York, a Jewish philanthropic organization, is sponsoring the trip
And one topic always on the schedule for mayors who travel is politics at home.
“Jews in Brooklyn matter, Jews on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side in Manhattan matter. Jews are a population — particularly religious Jews — that Adams has to have in his corner and voting for him in 2025,” Hank Sheinkopf, a political consultant, said.
The UJA Federation of New York, a Jewish philanthropic organization, is sponsoring the trip, saying in a statement, “During the trip, Mayor Adams will have the opportunity to meet with many Israeli political and business leaders, as well as key UJA grantees who support critical needs of diverse sectors in Israel.”
Adams has been a jetsetter even before he was in City Hall.
As mayor-elect, he went to the Dominican Republic and Ghana. Then, as mayor, Adams spoke at an anti-Semitism conference in Greece before heading to Doha, Qatar, for the men’s World Cup.
Past mayors also traveled abroad for business — like David Dinkins, who traveled to Tokyo, Japan in 1993 to pitch business leaders there to invest in the big apple.
Basil Smikle, director of the Roosevelt House Institute for Public Policy at Hunter College, said he worked for Dinkins after he left City Hall and recalls seeing the plaque Dinkins received during his trip to Japan.
“When you travel abroad, it’s letting other cities and other countries know that New York is open for business. You wanna bring in tourists, you wanna bring in resources, you wanna bring in investment,” Smikle said.
But while Dinkins was abroad, the World Trade Center was the target of its first terrorist bombing, showing the risks of leaving town.
Michael Bloomberg was in Bermuda when a blizzard slammed New York during Christmas 2010. He came back to a heap of criticism for being MIA.
“You don’t want a disaster, you pray for not having one, but you need excellent and competent people running the government,” Sheinkopf said.
It’s a lesson for mayors in a city where anything can happen at any time.