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We recognize that in the high-stakes, often take-no-prisoners budget negotiations in Albany, leverage is at a premium. And we also appreciate the particularly exquisite dilemma now facing Governor George Pataki with the advent of both houses of the legislature having united against him and their probable ability to override his vetoes of their budget proposals.
It is altogether fitting and proper that New York State's Governor George Pataki, New York City's Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Mayor-Elect Michael Bloomberg chose Chanuka for their solidarity visit to Israel. Chanuka symbolizes Divine deliverance and the triumph of good over evil, themes that have particular resonance now that both the United States and Israel are waging war against terrorism. Indeed, the presence of these three politicians in Israel at this time sharply underscores the parallel challenges presented by the events of September 11 and the more than year-long Intifada. Coming as well, in the context of President Bush's no-nonsense support for Israel's anti-terrorist efforts, it is an indication that American appreciation of Israel's plight is not only broad, but deep as well.