Gavin Newsom meets with a Californian survivor of the Hamas attacks in Israel at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. (Photo/Courtesy office of the Governor)
Gavin Newsom meets with a Californian survivor of the Hamas attacks in Israel at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. (Photo/Courtesy office of the Governor)

Newsom finds ‘grief’ and ‘resilience’ during one-day Israel stopover

Gov. Gavin Newsom arrived in Israel Friday morning to meet “with those impacted by the horrific terrorist attacks,” according to a statement he posted on social media a day before landing.

The one-day trip, announced Thursday, was a quickly arranged stopover on a planned weeklong trip to China to discuss global warming.

In Israel, Newsom met with survivors of the brutal Oct. 7 Hamas attacks, as well as with families of Israelis killed or missing, presumably being held hostage in Gaza.

Calling the Israelis he met “extraordinary” in a statement released by his office, Newsom wrote first of his visit with a mother who has been pressuring the U.S. and Israeli governments nonstop to bring the hostages home. Her son is Berkeley-born Hersh Goldberg-Polin, who is among the missing.

“I listened to the grief and terror in a mother’s voice as she spoke about her son — a Californian right now being held hostage in Gaza — whose arm was blown off by a terrorist’s grenade,” Newsom wrote.

There were more visits, as Newsom related:

“I hugged a girl — another Californian, born in Los Angeles — who was shot in the leg by Hamas and left for dead, in truly horrific conditions.

“I grieved with families in mourning, I met with young soldiers fresh from bomb shelters and battlefields, and I sat with leaders who bear the responsibility of response to it all.

“Despite the horror, what I saw and heard from the people of Israel was a profound sense of resilience. A commitment to community and common purpose, especially in these most difficult of times.”

Newsom then paraphrased the traditional Hebrew statement, writing: “May the memory of those who perished be a blessing to the whole world.”

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, after his visit, he wrote: “Today, I met with a Californian who was shot during a missile and grenade attack. She covered herself among dead people to survive. After hours of endless terror, she was rescued and transported to a hospital. What the Israeli people have experienced is nothing short of barbaric terrorism. But what I heard and saw today was so much more than that. It was a profound sense of resilience. My heart is heavy for every innocent person experiencing excruciating loss. As we pray for peace, CA will be sending much needed medical supplies to the region.”

Newsom also met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog, posing for photographs with him in front of the U.S. and Israeli flags.

“Thank you Governor of California for your visit of solidarity to Israel. We will never forget our friends who stood by Israel in our most difficult times,” Herzog wrote in English on X. 

California is working to ship medical supplies to support humanitarian relief efforts in Israel and Gaza, according to Newsom’s office.