N.Y. mayor:Defending Israel part of my job

Bill de Blasio, New York’s newly installed mayor, said defending Israel was part of his job.

“Part of my job description is to be a defender of Israel,” de Blasio said at a private New York event of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

“There’s no greater ally on earth, and that’s something we should say proudly,” he said at the Jan. 23 event.

De Blasio, who was inaugurated this month after being elected in November, described his visit to Israel with his family several years ago. He also said City Hall would “always be open” to AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobby.

He noted in his talk that New York has the largest Jewish population outside of Israel. Successive New York mayors for decades have cultivated close ties with Israel. — jta