LONG ISLAND - For Mazi Pilip, the Star of David she proudly wears around her neck has taken on greater meaning than ever before.
"After the war, I decided it’s the only necklace I’m going to wear because I want to send a message, I’m not afraid," the mother of seven said.
Putting politics aside, the war in Israel hits close to home for the Nassau County legislator. Pilip was born in Ethiopia and migrated to Israel when she was 12. She was part of a major covert mission called Operation Solomon. In May 1991, the Israeli military transported more than 14-thousand Ethiopian Jews to Israel in just 36 hours.
Pilip speaks passionately about Israel and fighting antisemitism any chance she gets. She served in the IDF before coming to the U.S. Her family, many of them still overseas, watched in horror as the terror unfolded.
Pilip's sister is a detective in Israel, assigned to protect the homeland.
"She’s working 12 to 13 hours and stopping cars, and you never know if that car is a terrorist's car," Pilip said.
Pilip has taken on an active role in empowering the greater Long Island community.
"My priority is to be the voice of Israel," she said.
A voice that’s unwavering.
Editor's note: A previous version of this report stated that Pilip donates reelection campaign funds to Israel. Pilip has clarified that money donated to Israel does not come from her reelection campaign funds.