Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, the lone Republican state legislator in New York City, who is running for Congress, recently returned from a three-day trip to Israel to learn more about the lives Israelis face, especially their ongoing challenges with Palestinian aggression and terrorism.
What she learned there was eye opening, she reported, and she returned with a renewed commitment to Israel and its people, promising to fight all forms of anti-Semitism in New York and abroad.
Malliotakis, 38, is challenging Max Rose for New York’s 11th Congressional district (Staten Island and parts of southwestern Brooklyn) in the 2020 election.
Malliotakis’s trip to Israel was hosted by the National Council of Young Israel in the hopes of raising awareness among American elected officials of the dire situation faced by Israel. It worked. After visiting many important spots such as the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem, parts of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), the Gaza border, and the Western Wall, Malliotakis and the group visited what she called the most moving and inspiring part of the trip: the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.
“It shows the unbelievable suffering of the Jewish people at the hands of the Nazis and underscores the faith and determination of those who escaped the ‘final solution’ and went on to build the democracy we all know as Israel,” she said in a press release after the trip. “It left a permanent mark on my conscience that we, as Americans, must be at the forefront of the fight against anti-Semitism and any other form of religious discrimination or hate.”
She added, “Whether it’s the rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes on the streets of Brooklyn, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement aimed at destabilizing Israel, or the actions and words of anti-Israeli elected politicians on the floor of Congress, one thing remains crystal clear; as freedom-loving Americans we must stand tall, shoulder to shoulder with the Jewish people and the state of Israel.”
In a meeting at The Jewish Press office in Borough Park last week, Malliotakis said, “Every Congressmember – every person really – should visit the memorial at some point in their lives; it’s such a crucial thing to remember what happened and help ensure the words ‘Never Again’ remain true.”
Malliotakis said that walking the streets of Israel, the assemblywoman was able to personally witness the headlines that Americans can only read about.
In the New York State Assembly, Malliotakis has represented District 64 (Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and East Shore, Staten Island) since 2011. The daughter of immigrants, she graduated Wagner College with an MBA in business and got elected to the Assembly in 2010 at only 30 years old.
During the meeting at The Jewish Press, Malliotakis highlighted her record, including restoring $10 million in the state budget for mental health care for American war veterans. Malliotakis also noticed that while the children of illegal immigrants were receiving tuition assistance, education funding to children of veterans who were killed or injured was going to be cut. She lobbied throughout the state and got that reversed. Ultimately, Governor Cuomo expanded protection to Gold Star families. Additionally, on the last day of the legislative session, she got a bill pulled that would have automatically registered anyone who applied for a driver’s license to vote, even if they were a non-citizen, unless they opted out.