Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and top New York lawmakers departed for Israel on Tuesday night to express support for that country in the Gaza conflict, but not before receiving an unexpected, and not entirely welcome, invitation: to visit territories that Palestinians regard as part of their future state, including East Jerusalem.
No time, the governor said. No thanks, his fellow travelers said.
Mr. Cuomo and the legislative leaders kicked off what they called their unity mission to the Jewish state with a news conference at Kennedy International Airport, an Israeli flag, flanked by the flags of the United States and the State of New York, behind them.
“Our message is simple and is clear,” the governor said. “We stand with Israel, and we support Israel’s right to defend itself in this conflict.”
Mr. Cuomo spoke just hours after the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations sent Mr. Cuomo’s office a letter calling on him and his delegation to broaden their itinerary.
In the letter, made available to The New York Times, the ambassador, Riyad H. Mansour, said Mr. Cuomo and his entourage were invited to “meet with our leadership, hear our people’s stories and formulate your opinions on the basis of experience of all sides of the conflict, not just one side.”
Asked about the ambassador’s invitation, Mr. Cuomo said he had not had a chance to read the letter and added that his trip was to be both brief in duration and crammed with events.
“There’s not a lot of flexibility in this trip,” the governor said, adding later, when pressed on the question: “We’re not planning any other trip in the future right now. This one was enough planning.”