Jersey To Jerusalem: A Mission Fulfilled

  • Wednesday, April 11, 2012
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Jersey to JErusalem

Jersey To Jerusalem: A Mission Fulfilled

From Strengthening Ties To Promoting Trade And Reflecting On Our Shared Heritage Governor Christie’s Trade Mission To Israel Was A Resounding Success



“At Tuesday's meeting, [Israeli President] Shimon Peres, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, hailed Gov. Chris Christie as ‘an outstanding friend to Israel.’” (“Israeli president hosts New Jersey governor,” The Associated Press, 4/3/12)

  • “For us, New Jersey is like New York without the same fanfare, but with the same connections for Israelis and the Jewish people …” (Gill Hofman, “‘Unambiguous’ support for Israel: Christie,” The New Jersey Jewish News, 4/6/12)

Christie and [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu “exchanged ideas about balancing government budgets in fiscally tight times and the rising problems of Iran’s development of a possible nuclear bombs.” (Mike Kelly, “Christie discusses trade links, balancing budgets with Israeli Prime Minster Netanyahu,” The Record, 4/2/12)

  • “Netanyahu, the leader of the Likud party known here as ‘Bibi’, and Christie bonded over past and future budget challenges ...” (Jenna Portnoy, “Gov. Christie talks budgets with prime minister on Israel trip,” Star-Ledger, 4/2/12)
  • “Toward the end of the meeting, Netanyahu and Christie touched on the fact that both are known for their blunt styles, and compared notes on their greatest hits for a few minutes, the source said.” (Maggie Haberman, “Christie is a hit on Israel trip,” Politico, 4/6/12)
  • “Christie’s meeting with Netanyahu, which was largely policy-focused — including Israel’s concerns about Iran and that country’s nuclear capability — lasted over an hour, longer than initially planned, a source familiar with the sitdown said.” (Maggie Haberman, “Christie is a hit on Israel trip,” Politico, 4/6/12)
  • “Later, the governor and Netanyahu met again — at a private dinner with their wives that Israeli officials described as an unusual gesture of friendship to an American governor who had never met Netanyahu before. ‘Let me present it this way. It’s not routine,’ said Mark Regev, a key Netanyahu strategist.” (Mike Kelly, “Christie chats with Israeli Prime Minster Netanyahu, swarmed by fans,” The Record, 4/2/12)

Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman: “It’s a win-win for both sides … He’s not just another governor. The fact that he’s going to Israel is an important statement about him.” (Mike Kelly, “Christie chats with Israeli Prime Minster Netanyahu, swarmed by fans,” The Record, 4/2/12)

“On a political level, Israeli officials also sense they have an ally in Christie, too. … Nadav Tamir, a policy adviser to Peres, as he watched Christie chat with the Israeli president [said] … ‘And New Jersey is a very important state for us. It has a very large and important Jewish community.’” (Mike Kelly, “Christie meets with pharmaceutical firm in Israel that employs hundreds in North Jersey,” The Record, 4/3/12)

New Jersey-Israel Commission Chair Mark Levenson: “The governor is a courageous person … He knows the turmoil that Israel endures and that Israel and the U.S. have shared values. He wanted to make a statement that this would be his first overseas trip as governor, and he kept his word.”

“The trip makes sense for the governor of New Jersey, a state that has strong economic ties to Israel and that’s also home to one of the largest Jewish populations in the U.S.” (John Reitmeyer, “Christie gives diplomacy a test run with trade talks on Middle East trip,” The Record, 4/1/12)

“Since The 1980s and Tom Kean’s days of leading the state, New Jersey governors have been making trips to Israel, and in the process building a uniquely important, mutually beneficial friendship.” (Editorial, “The Record: Christie and Israel,” The Record, 4/1/12)

  • “Such trips carry economic considerations to be sure, both in good times or bad. But there are also long-treasured cultural connections that must be maintained and strengthened. Governor Christie continues the tradition today …”
  • “We wish the governor well in his travels. Just as it is important for the United States to maintain its alliance with Israel in a very volatile region, it is essential for Trenton to nurture its mutually beneficial relationship with Jerusalem as well.”


“Gov. Chris Christie … fulfilled the trade mission goal of his four-day trip to Israel by meeting with the drug giant Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and a slick start-up with a new model for selling electric cars.” (Jenna Portnoy, Gov. Christie plays businessman in Israel,” Star-Ledger, 4/3/12)

CEO Tracye McDaniel: “We calculate that the potential economic development impact of this trip could be upwards of $281 million in capital investment and the creation and/or retention of as many as 660 jobs in New Jersey ...”  (Jenna Portnoy, Gov. Christie plays businessman in Israel,” Star-Ledger, 4/3/12)

International Trade Consultant Roger Cohen: “It’s all about developing relationships.” (Jason Method, “Trade missions valuable, though benefits hazy,” Asbury Park Press, 4/9/12)

“Joseph J. Seneca, the longtime Rutgers University economist, agreed ‘This is the soft part of the science of economics. Trade missions are substance and form, symbols and content …”

  • “They have values that are hard to parse out in terms of cause and effect. ... It’s contacts made, relationships established. It’s a portfolio of interests. All the states do it.” (Jason Method, “Trade missions valuable, though benefits hazy,” Asbury Park Press, 4/9/12)

Camille Sailer, of the European American Chamber of Commerce in New Jersey “said she is glad Christie is taking an interest in foreign business relationships. “It is critical that New Jersey be viewed as committed and credible to international trade. We are surrounded by states who do it quite well …” (Jason Method, “Trade missions valuable, though benefits hazy,” Asbury Park Press, 4/9/12)

  • Sailer: “Given the fierce competition, unless you’re viewed as knowing what you’re talking about, and walking the walk by going into people’s markets, and investing time and resources and expertise to negotiate or establish a relationship, you won’t get out of the starting gate ...”

New Jersey-Israel Commission Chair Mark Levenson “said New Jersey could cooperate with Israeli companies in science, high-tech, clean-tech, defense, and pharmaceuticals.” (Gill Hofman, “‘Unambiguous’ support for Israel: Christie,” The New Jersey Jewish News, 4/6/12)

“Trade is important to New Jersey. Export-supported manufacturing jobs make up 3.3 percent of the state’s private-sector employment, according to the International Trade Administration, which is part of the U.S. Commerce Department.” (Jason Method, “Trade missions valuable, though benefits hazy,” Asbury Park Press, 4/9/12)

  • “There were 15,512 companies that exported from New Jersey in 2009, the last year for which those figures are available. Of those, nine of every ten were companies with fewer than 500 employees.”


“The governor’s trip to Israel was billed as a trade mission, and he did fulfill those obligations. But make no mistake: By going to the Holy Lands during Holy Week with his family, this trip was about more than trade.” (John Schoonejongen, “Christie's trip to Israel not all about trade,” Asbury Park Press, 4/9/12)

  • “There is nothing wrong with that. Many who have gone to Israel have described the experience as life-changing. People of faith often state that the experience adds a tangible dimension to their beliefs.”

“Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic), the only Orthodox Jew in the Legislature, said visiting Israel is paramount to understanding Jewish people in New Jersey.” (Jenna Portnoy, “Visit to Jerusalem puts Christie on world stage,” Star-Ledger, 4/1/12)

Rabbi Mendy Carlebach of Chabad of South Brunswick: "Praying at the Western Wall with my governor was certainly the most memorable part of the trip … I haven't been back to Israel in many years, so to get this opportunity to go back was an invitation I couldn't turn down.” (Davy James, “South Brunswick Rabbi Joins Christie for Israel Tour,” South Brunswick Patch, 4/9/12)

  • "We wanted to enhance the ties between New Jersey and Israel and strengthen trade between the two … The governor also wanted to go at a time he could bring his children, so there was a personal aspect, in addition to a business aspect."
  • "By coming to Israel, when people in this world are questioning the legitimacy of Israel, when other countries are beating up on Israel, even when it's the only Democracy in that region, for him to bring his family and affirm his support for Israel is an important thing. The fact that he took his family with him is a statement that goes beyond words."

“It’s hard to tell which picture of Gov. Christie in Israel is more compelling, the man placing both hands on the sacred Wailing Wall with his eyes closed in silent contemplation and then praying out loud with a Hebrew-English prayer book, or the one of him walking around with a yarmulke — a Jewish skullcap — on his head with the words ‘Governor Christie’ embroidered on the back.” (“Christie Treated Like Rock Star In Israel, Meets With Netanyahu On First Day Of Trip,” CBS New York, 4/2/12)

“The visit was the fulfillment of a promise he made to Jewish leaders in a meeting in Whippany several months ago to make Israel the first foreign country he visited as governor.” (Gill Hofman, “‘Unambiguous’ support for Israel: Christie,” The New Jersey Jewish News, 4/6/12)

Press Contact:
Michael Drewniak
Kevin Roberts

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