Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
Eric Adams, Mayor of New York City visits at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site in the Old City of Jerusalem on August 22, 2023.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams had some sage advice for high-tech and other Israeli startup business leaders in Tel Aviv on Wednesday as he concluded his three-day visit to the Jewish State.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, NYC Mayor Adams Discuss Bilateral Cooperation


The gathering was moderated by Combat Antisemitism Movement senior adviser Revital Yakin Krakovsky, F2 Venture Capital founder and managing partner Jonathan Saacks, Carbyne Global Partnerships Vice President Michal Raz and investor/entrepreneur Guy Nizan.

“Hard is starting this country being surrounded by people who hated you,” Adams said.

“Hard is figuring out how to do drip irrigation so you can start growing your own products. Hard is building and being not only a start-up nation, but now leading a number of start-ups you’re seeing across the globe — and the reason you’ve survived layers and layers of difficulties and you’re still here, it is not because of the soil but because you’re made of good quality. It’s the people, folks!,” Adams declared.

“Don’t stop believing, Israel,” he urged.

“That is the potent secret weapon. All of you who are start-ups, you believed in something. The original start-ups were your parents and grandparents, they believed in something. Israel is a unicorn because of them.

“Don’t abandon what they built.”

Adams met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday after visiting Jerusalem’s sacred Western Wall and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Center.

Netanyahu and Adams discussed the “unlimited possibilities for cooperation between New York City and the State of Israel in technology, innovation and tourism,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Adams praised the methods of Israeli police, particularly the use of drones and motorcycles, which he said were used in more creative ways than by the NYPD. He added that Israeli drones are more durable and can fly further than the fleet currently in use in his city.

“The method in which they’re using them, the methods in which they are training to use them, is what caught my interest,” Adams said. “I’m a great fan of technology and all it can do to make our lives easier and safer,” the mayor said. “And Israel is on the cutting edge of exciting developments in technology that will benefit all of us.”

Adams also met with the leaders of an anti-government protest movement, including anarchists who have dedicated themselves for the past eight months to disrupting daily life for the average Israeli.

It may not be clear why a pro-Israeli New York City mayor would meet with a group committed to overthrowing the government of the country he was visiting – until one looks back to the fate of Democratic lawmakers who came to Israel two weeks ago.

At that time, a delegation led by Congressional Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries sidestepped a similar demand for a meeting with Israeli anarchists – but the delegation was subsequently attacked by leftist Israeli ex-pats when they returned to the US.

Straddling the fence in a clear effort to avoid the same fate, Adams published an op-ed in The Jerusalem Post this week in which he wrote, “As mayor of a city whose residents can hold widely differing and opposing views on many subjects, I understand the importance of working through contentious issues and having difficult discussions.

“Democracy is never easy, and it is only by confronting our differences that we can emerge stronger.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.