PHILADELPHIA--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (PICC; www.phillyisraelchamber.com), called upon supporters of Israel from greater Philadelphia, southern New Jersey and Delaware today to petition Israel’s Foreign Ministry to keep open the Israel Consulate in Philadelphia.
“These compelling statistics are made possible, in large part, by having an official Israeli presence embedded in our community. The vacuum that would be created by closing the Consulate would undermine historically strong ties between local and Israeli businesses, academic institutions, philanthropic organizations, and other influential groups and individuals.”
A recent Jerusalem Post article (www.bit.ly/jpostphilly) quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin saying, “The Philadelphia consulate could be closed because Israel had ample representation in nearby Boston, Washington and New York, which could cover the region now under the Philadelphia Consulate’s jurisdiction.”
PICC President Richard A. Bendit stated, “While a closure would, no doubt, be a blow to our region, it will be an even greater loss to Israel, its citizens, institutions and businesses. The Greater Philadelphia region plays a key role in accelerating U.S.-Israeli business development, advocating pro-Israeli causes, and strengthening cultural, political and philanthropic ties between our countries.”
Bendit highlighted Philadelphia’s unique strategic importance to Israel in three areas:
- Approximately 25% (est. $5 billion) of all Israeli exports to the U.S. pass through the Greater Philadelphia region every year
- The Greater Philadelphia region strongly supports Israel, boasting the 2nd largest Jewish population on the East Coast and the 5th largest Jewish population in the U.S.
- The Greater Philadelphia region firmly complements Israel’s prominent and growing life science, medical and energy exploration industries
Added Bendit: “These compelling statistics are made possible, in large part, by having an official Israeli presence embedded in our community. The vacuum that would be created by closing the Consulate would undermine historically strong ties between local and Israeli businesses, academic institutions, philanthropic organizations, and other influential groups and individuals.”
On behalf of PICC, the go-to independent organization facilitating connections between Israeli and Philadelphia, southern New Jersey and Delaware based business, governmental agencies and economic development organization, Bendit asked the region’s Israel supporters to join its campaign to keep the Consulate open by sending a letter opposing its closure to the Office of the Prime Minister at:
The Honorable Benjamin Netanyahu
Office of the Prime Minister
3 Kaplan St., Hakirya
Supporters can also contact the Prime Minister’s office through the following web page: www.bit.ly/savephillyconsulate.
When completed, PICC asks supporters to email a copy of their letters to the Chamber at PICC@greaterphilachamber.com. These actions will help fulfill PICC’s mission of promoting mutually beneficial economic, business and personal connections between Israel and Greater Philadelphia. For more information, visit PICC online at www.phillyisraelchamber.com.