Gov. Nathan Deal Touts Georgia on Jerusalem Visit

Image: Gov. Nathan Deal Touts Georgia on Jerusalem Visit

Monday, 23 Jun 2014 08:01 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Georgia Republican Gov. Nathan Deal led a delegation of business and community leaders to Israel over the weekend, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Atlanta and Jerusalem are marking 20 years of economic cooperation. Deal said the trade relationship had been mutually beneficial.

Dozens of Israeli companies are now doing business in Georgia, including Amdocs and Caesarstone. Amdocs, a software services provider, employees 600 Georgians. Caesarstone, which builds quartz countertop surfaces, is set to begin construction on a second factory in the state, the Post reported.

Deal remarked that, "Like Israel, we are a leader in software and IT services, as well as tourism."

He promoted the state's booming $4 billion film industry, referring to Pinewood Studios in Fayette County and plans to redevelop Fort McPherson. That prompted Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat to say that Jerusalem was also a great place for film production, the Post reported.

Israel is known for its thriving pharmaceutical industry. Deal said that Georgia was also a bioscience hub and now the home of a new Baxter pharmaceutical plant, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The five-day visit to the Holy Land is Deal's most prominent overseas journey during this election year and has "political undertones that could resonate through November," the  Journal-Constitution reported.

Deal will face Democrat Jason Carter, grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, in the  November election. The former president has established a reputation among Israelis and the pro-Israel community in the United States for being staunchly anti-Zionist.

The younger Carter has purportedly sought to assure Jewish constituents that he does not share his grandfather's antipathy for Israel, according to the Journal-Constitution.

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