Mazi Melesa Pilip was born in the late 1970s in a small village in Ethiopia and joined Israel in 1991 during Operation “Solomon”, which transported 14,000 falashas (Ethiopian Jews) there in two days. She did her military service, continued her studies in Haifa and Tel Aviv and there met her husband, a Ukrainian Jewish cardiologist. They emigrated in 2005 to New York State, where they had 7 children. At 45, Mazi Pilip is still registered as a Democratic voter, despite a local elected position obtained in 2021 under Republican colors. Also, this Orthodox Jew with a unique background was chosen by the Grand Old Party (GOP) as a candidate in the State of New York, in a constituency straddling Queens and Nassau counties for the election. partial from February 13.
She will try to keep for the Republicans the seat of George Santos, an inveterate liar expelled from Congress in December 2023. The choice of Mazi Pilip is indicative of the state of the Democratic Party, which continues to tear itself apart over the war. in Gaza, divided between young people and the pro-Palestinian left wing on one side, and older Jews and pro-Israelis on the other. The Republicans are trying to take advantage of this in this constituency with a large Jewish minority.
“Left-wing progressive Democrats do not support Israeldeclared Mazi Pilip at New York Times. It is shameful. When I go to Congress, they will be facing a black woman, mother of seven children, former IDF [l’armée israélienne], a proud American. They will have me in front of them. » The Hamas attack has hardened its position, and it is campaigning on the subject. Mme Pilip says she always supported the two-state solution, but changed her mind after the Hamas attack on October 7, according to the New York Post : “Hamas killed the two-state solution. »
This by-election is decisive, with the majority of elected Republicans in the House hanging by a thread. They hold 219 seats, the Democrats 212, while 4 seats are vacant, including that of the New York State district. To win this election, the Republicans spent around 5 million dollars (more than 4.6 million euros) on advertising, and the Democrats, twice as much. Facing Mme Pilip, the former incumbent of the constituency, Tom Suozzi, 61, is trying to recover the stronghold he abandoned in 2022.
Twice an immigrant – from Ethiopia then from Israel – the candidate is also campaigning on the theme of immigration, forcefully fighting Joe Biden’s migration policy. While the New York region has seen 170,000 migrants arrive over the past two years and the city is financially strangled, the subject is a major one during this election. “Today I spoke about the 1,000 migrant men living in a tent camp in Creedmoor, Queens. Parents tell me they are afraid to bring their children to the park across the street because of the harassment. We need to fix this mess created by Biden and Suozzi! »she tweeted on January 25, accusing her opponent of having systematically supported Joe Biden’s policies in Congress.
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