Nick Langworthy with Rabbi Dr. Joe Frager.

Just days after taking over as the chair of the New York State Republican Committee, Nicholas (Nick) Langworthy decided to get on a plane to Israel. “I thought it would be a great way to kick off my chairmanship,” he told JNS at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

“I wanted to send a message to the Republican Party that I stand with Israel, and personally take the time to visit,” he said.

Langworthy arrived this week for his first visit in the country, along with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, as a guest of Dr. Joe Frager, vice president of the National Council of Young Israel.

Huckabee, speaking at a Jerusalem press conference, said that this was his fifth trip to Israel this year, adding that “every year I bring several hundred people to Israel, most of them first time visitors to the country.” He said that it was a “remarkable experience” to see the country through the eyes of those who have never been here.

Langworthy stressed the need to combat antisemitism in the United States, which has even reached the halls of U.S. Congress. He said it’s important for the American people to stand with Israel because of similar value systems within both nations.

But he also adamantly noted that just because Diaspora Jewry supports Israel doesn’t mean that they have so-called “duel loyalty,” a longtime antisemitic canard that has been pushed by both Omar and Tlaib on social media.

While in the country for just a few days so far, Langworthy has already toured enough to describe the trip as “transformational,” saying how amazing it is for him to see it Israel “with my own eyes, especially Jerusalem, the holiest city in the world.”