An article published in the Jerusalem Post on January 6, 2016 (http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Israel-to-close-Philadelphia-consulate-representations-in-4-other-cities-439640) stated that the Israeli Foreign Ministry plans to close its Philadelphia Consulate, along with four other representative offices, in order to better support existing consulates.
On behalf of the Philadelphia–Israel Chamber of Commerce (PICC), the go-to independent organization facilitating connections between Israeli and Philadelphia, Southern New Jersey and Delaware based businesses, governmental agencies and economic development organizations, I would like to express our deep disappointment in this decision.
For decades, the PICC has worked hand-in-hand with the Israeli consulate in Philadelphia to accelerate business, academic and commercial ties between Israel and the Greater Philadelphia region. We reaffirm our position that 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. For example:
- More than $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 strongly complements Israel’s prominent and growing life science, medical and energy exploration industries.
The vacuum that would be created by closing the Consulate would undermine historically strong ties between Israel, and Greater Philadelphia, Southern New Jersey and Delaware, as well as states the PICC does not serve.
As President of the PICC, I am asking for your help to fulfill our mission of promoting mutually beneficial economic, business and personal connections between Israel and our region, and advocating to keep the Israeli Consular presence in Philadelphia. We urge you to request your legislators to contact the Office of the Israeli Prime Minister to express our community’s desire to keep an Israeli Consular presence in our region:
The Honorable Benjamin Netanyahu
Office of the Prime Minister
3 Kaplan St.,
Jerusalem, 91950 Israel
Thank you for your support.
David J. Allon, MBA
The Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce