Borough President Markowitz was in Israel this week promoting tourism between Brooklyn and the Jewish state, he told The Brooklyn Paper.
The Israeli Ministry of Tourism brought the Beep and Brooklyn’s First Lady, Jamie Snow, for an expenses-paid nine-day tour — a journey Markowitz embraced to foster travel ties.
“This is a working trip to honor Brooklyn’s connection to Israel and reaffirm our support of its goals, as well as to promote tourism between Israel and Brooklyn — encouraging Israelis to visit Brooklyn just as we encourage Brooklyn travelers of every background to consider experiencing the beauty and rich history of Israel,” Markowitz, who paid for his and his wife’s airfare to the holy land, said in a statement before departing on Monday.
The junket itinerary included visits with the mayors of Haifa, Tel Aviv and Brooklyn’s sister city, Bnei Brack.
When not gladhanding and politicking with the local dignitaries, Markowitz also visited popular attractions, such as Massada, the historic desert fortress; the Old City of Jerusalem; and various holy sites in Judaism and Christianity.
The trip fulfills one-third of the traditional, if not outdated, Three I’s of New York City politics — Ireland, Italy and Israel. For decades, Big Apple pols felt honor-bound to visit all three countries in an effort to court the vote-rich Irish, Italian and Jewish ethnic groups.
Markowitz abided by this old technique with warm words for the state of Israel.
“All of Brooklyn, New York City and America celebrate the 60th anniversary of the birth of the State of Israel,” he said in that statement. “As borough president of the county with the most Jews outside of Israel itself, it is a thrill to visit this political and spiritual center.”
He returned to Brooklyn on Tuesday.
Amen to that.