Republican Lieutenant Governors Association Leads SGLF Sponsored Delegation to Israel

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Delegation met with Prime Minister, Key Industry Leaders

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, the Republican Lieutenant Governors Association (RLGA) led a delegation of seven lieutenant governors to the state of Israel. The eight-day trip was sponsored by the State Government Leadership Foundation (SGLF)—a strategic policy partner of RLGA—with the aim of stimulating economic development and trade and fostering new partnerships between Israel and state level leaders in America.

“The RLGA mission to Israel was a unique success,” said Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, Chairman of the RLGA. “We accomplished our individual and organization goals of economic development, building diplomatic relationships and cultural and geopolitical education. That we experienced Israel with seven different states’ executive branches for such a monumental RLGA first makes the trip even more memorable.”

As the first trip of its kind by the RLGA, the delegation led a number of economic development meetings in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem with leadership of key Israeli companies and industries to identify and advance dynamic economic partnerships with Israeli companies. 

To build a better understanding of Israel’s complex history and the unique economic issues and security threats faced daily, the lieutenant governors attended briefings and meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Ron Dermer, Israeli Ambassador to the United States; Dore Gold, the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Danny Gold, the inventor of the Iron Dome; Alon Ushpiz, the Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Michael Oren, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States and current Knesset Member; Israeli ministry heads; Israeli military officers and various Israeli thought leaders. The delegation also visited important geopolitical, historic and religious sites and landmarks.

Participating lieutenant governors and SGLF leaders issued the following statements on the Israel mission:

“Among the many meaningful opportunities to collaborate with Israel, none is more important to me than water,” said Nevada Lt. Governor Mark Hutchison, Vice-Chairman of the RLGA. “Israel and Nevada are world leaders in advanced water technology. I was pleased to strengthen this mutually beneficial relationship by meeting with Israeli companies partnering with Nevada agencies in this vital industry.”

“Kansas and Israel have significant trade, cultural and security ties,” said Kansas Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D. “The meetings with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israeli companies present new opportunities for Kansas businesses to grow.” 

“It was an honor to spend time with our strongest ally and partner in the Middle East,” said North Carolina Lt. Governor Dan Forest. “Seeing firsthand the nuances of the geo-political landscape between the Israelis and the Palestinians and visiting the borders of Gaza, the West Bank, Ramallah, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon highlights the awareness of how tenuous international relationships are in this region of the world. Working toward peaceful coexistence in the Middle East means one must understand the challenges they all face.

“Notably, while one of the smallest nations in the world, Israel is the most innovative nation per capita. It is also number one in the world for venture capital investment per capita. As Israel and North Carolina continue to strengthen relationships in the business world, we will continue to work together to bring new and exciting innovations to the marketplace that will translate into jobs and a greater standard of living here and abroad.”

“For me, there was never a doubt that Israel is one of our greatest and most important allies in the world, and my visit only reinforced this,” said Florida Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera. “The trip was both impactful and informative, with critical discussions taking place to solidify and grow Florida’s already successful relationship with Israeli companies and its leaders in government. I plan to return to Israel in the future to ensure these relationships continue to grow, and I would encourage anyone who has not had the opportunity to visit Israel to do so as well.”

“Our trip gave me a great opportunity to find ways to increase business activity between Texas and Israel,” said Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. “Our already strong relationship will only expand as a result of my meetings with multiple companies and government officials during my visit.”

“This inaugural RLGA mission to Israel was incredibly successful on a number of important fronts,” said Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds. “In the new global economy, relationships between individual American states and nations such as Israel are of growing importance. During the six economic development meetings I held, it was made even more clear that Israel is a source for innovative, world changing ideas, a major hub for regional and worldwide economic growth, and a key partner for Iowa businesses. Israel is a critical national security ally to our nation, and it continues to be true that a strong and flourishing Israel is key to a strong United States. I am glad to have been able to share this unique experience with my Lieutenant Governor colleagues from around the country.”

“In an increasingly interconnected world, it’s indispensable that we foster relationships between key economic and security partner nations and the American state level leaders who are delivering measurable, impactful policies and results at the state level,” said SGLF Executive Director Matthew Walter. “Israel is the perfect place to hold our first mission of this kind.”

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