Casey Urges Israeli PM To Keep Philadelphia Consulate Open

Israel Currently Considering Closing Philadelphia Office / $5 Billion in U.S. Exports to Israel Pass Through Greater Philadelphia Every Year / In Letter Casey Makes Case for Region, Cites Longstanding Partnership Between Philadelphia, Israel

Casey Urges Israeli PM To Keep Philadelphia Consulate Open

Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he has sent a letter to Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, urging him to keep the Consulate General of Israel open in Philadelphia. Recently it was made public that Israel is considering closing the Consulate. In his letter, Casey cited the statistic that $5 billion in U.S. exports to Israel pass through the greater Philadelphia region and Philadelphia’s longstanding ties to Israel in making the case for the consulate to remain open. Just this year, Senator Casey and Prime Minister Netanyahu met while Senator Casey was in the Middle East.

“Israel and Philadelphia have a long history of partnership and the Consulate has played a key role,” Senator Casey said. “Prime Minister Netanyahu knows Philadelphia well and I’m hopeful that the Consulate will remain open.”

The full text of Casey’s letter is below:

His Excellency

Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister of Israel

Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu: 

It has recently come to my attention that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel is considering closure of its consulate in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  I am writing to respectfully urge you not to shutter this consulate, which is important for maintaining the strong, longstanding relationship between the people of Israel and the people of my home state of Pennsylvania. 

As you will remember from your time living in our beautiful region, Philadelphia is a vibrant economic, political, and cultural hub for the East Coast.  Curtailing Israel’s official representation in Philadelphia would adversely impact the historically strong ties that Pennsylvanians have enjoyed with Israel. 

I understand from the Pennsylvania – Israel Chamber of Commerce that approximately $5 billion of U.S. exports to Israel pass through the greater Philadelphia region every year.  Further, they report that the greater Philadelphia region boasts the second largest Jewish population on the East Coast and the fifth largest in the nation. The area is home to some of the top educational, medical, and research institutions in the United States, many of which have enjoyed fruitful partnerships with counterparts in Israel.

I appreciate the longstanding, special partnership between the United States and Israel, and I meet regularly with constituents who share this conviction. During my time in the Senate, I have given particular focus to issues important to both our countries’ national security and economic growth.  While I understand you are weighing competing priorities in a challenging financial environment, I believe that keeping the Israeli Consulate in Philadelphia open is vital to the furtherance of our two nation’s shared goals. 

Thank you for your consideration of my request, and I look forward to continuing to work with you and your government on issues of mutual concern. 

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

United States Senator

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