(via INN and NYDN).Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosted on Sunday New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is visiting Israel to inaugurate the new Magen David Adom station he has helped donate to Jerusalem.
Bloomberg said it was an honor to be Netanyahu’s guest and to be visiting Israel.
“New Yorkers' admiration and support for Israel are strong and unshakable, We appreciate the powerful stresses that Gilad Shalit’s long captivity placed on the Israeli people. It was my privilege to march with his parents in our city’s Salute to Israel parade two years ago.”
"Israelis’ outpouring of feelings about Shalit’s release last week shows the toughness and the resiliency of Israel’s national character.”
“The easiest response in a crisis is to do nothing, But that’s not what governing is about, and so you certainly have our admiration for shouldering the burdens of leadership and doing what you thought was necessary.”
Bloomberg presented Netanyahu with an American flag that flew above the US capital for the Shalit family, as a symbol of the American people's solidarity with Israel.
Netanyahu thanked Bloomberg for his committment to Israel, expressed by the mayor's remarks and the flag, which he called “the flag of freedom. It flew over 9/11 and the place of that tragedy. It's the same thing. It’s our passion for life. It’s our dedication to freedom. It’s what binds our societies.”
Speaking to a group of reporters in Jerusalem, Mayor Bloomberg also defended the controversial prisoner swap that brought Israeli solider Gilad Shalit home.
"I just know that the government of Israel had to make a decision and they didn't walk away from the decision, they made one, and that's what governing is all about."
"There's no simple solutions to complex problems,If they were they would have been solved a long time ago."
"Israel has a strong tradition of always bringing people back, And I'm sure that is something that all Israelis feel. And I'm not in a position to make a decision for the Israeli government of what they should do in any one situation."