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Queens Residents Represent Diversity of Opinions on Cuomo in Israel

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TWC News: Queens Residents Represent Diversity of Opinions on Cuomo in Israel
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The lawmakers' trip to Israel is stirring up a lot of opinions here at home. NY1's Rocco Vertuccio filed the following report.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's high-profile trip to Israel is on the minds of many New Yorkers—especially in neighborhoods like Forest Hills which is home to many Jewish residents.

"I am very heartened and gratified he is going there," says Forest Hills resident Barry Young.

Barry Young says the governor has an obligation to show support for Israel because of the city's large Jewish population.

He admits the trip is mostly symbolic, but he says it's still important.

"There's a lot of symbolic things that occur that normally will end up into something that is very, very positive," Young says.

Even some who support the governor admit the trip is an election year stunt to win the Jewish vote.

"I don't know how he can help them. I don't know. I cannot say it's political—everything is political," says another Forest Hills resident, Betsy Kislik.

Most of those we spoke with agree that Cuomo's visit won't help the peace process.

Some say the governor shouldn't have turned down an invitation to meet with Palestinian leaders too.

"I think to the whole Palestinian community here, and the Palestinian community all over the world, it would show courtesy to both sides," says one Forest Hills resident.

It's an opinion that is echoed in parts of Astoria where there is more support for the Palestinians.

Many in this area known as Little Egypt say the Palestinians deserve the same attention from New York's lawmakers as the Israelis.

"I think that's not fair to do that. It's better to sit with both, get them together—the same way Egypt is doing right now," says Astoria resident Amen Khaled.

While the travel agenda for this trip focuses on boosting the moral of the Israelis, some New Yorkers say its the Palestinian people who need the support.

"Palestinians defending. They feel this is their land. That's why they are defending it's land," says another Astoria resident, Sam el Shikh.

What people in both neighborhoods can agree on is they want a lasting cease fire and and end to the bloodshed.

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