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Governor Christie welcomes Israeli Ambassador to NJ

Governor Chris Christie on world stage.

The Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie invited the Ambassador of Israel - the Honorable Michael Oren to his private office in the Statehouse-Trenton, NJ.


Governor Christie: I’m pleased to be able to welcome Ambassador Oren here today. We had a good, great visit, talking about the things that -- not only the things that are common between the State of New Jersey and the State of Israel but also our common upbringing. We both grew up in Livingston and West Orange and spent a lot of time there in our youth and so we shared a lot of those experiences as well. I was talking about a lot of the other positive similarities between the State of New Jersey and the State of Israel. Also, the Ambassador, Mary Pat and I have decided that our first foreign travel as Governor and the First Lady will be Israel next year so we’ll be traveling to Israel next year. The Ambassador suggested spring, in April would be a good time so we’re going to try to work with the New Jersey – Israel Commission and other interested parties in the state to schedule that trip for next spring. We decided we want to go and we want to visit for ourselves. It’s an important visit for me personally and an important visit for the folks of New Jersey as well, to have the Governor and the First Lady go and visit. The Ambassador has been wonderfully welcoming in that regard. I appreciate it and we look forward to continuing to strengthen our ties between our states. There’s a great, great, great, long-term connection between New Jersey and Israel and I intend to make that as strong as I can along with the Ambassador and other important folks in the Israeli Government. So welcome.

Ambassador Michael Oren: You’re welcome. Thank you very much Governor Christie for hosting me, hosting our Consul General Ido Aharoni from New York, and for sharing our childhood memories, even though we were rival football teams.

Governor Christie: Yes.

Ambassador Oren: And unfortunately because his team won all the time. The best kind of rivalry.

Governor Christie: Yes.

Ambassador Oren: And to emphasizing the great similarities between Israel and the state of New Jersey. It is obvious that our states are virtually the same size, virtually the same population, and so if you can imagine the state of New Jersey transported to the Middle East where we find tens of thousands of rockets on its borders, hostile nations, a nation not far away which is developing nuclear weapons with the express purpose of erasing the Jewish state from the map, So Israel faces some acute and unique challenges and we overcome those challenges through our strong support in the United States in general and New Jersey in particular. New Jersey, as you mentioned, has had a long and very proud history of supporting the State of Israel. We have great centers of support in the state and we discussed ways that we can further advance this in the field of trade and security, in tourism by having the Governor and his family come visit us, and we look forward to hosting you very much, you and your family.

Governor Christie: So we appreciate it and we’re going to continue to work together, work with the Commission. We appreciate the leadership that the Commission gives to bring these issues to the fore of the state, not just for me and other governmental officials but for our population in general, playing not only a leadership role but an educational role as well, which is really important. So, we look forward, Mary Pat and I look forward, and the children, to come to Israel in the spring. We look forward to spending more time with the Ambassador as time moves forward here and meet with other folks in government where appropriate to be able to foster further ties between our two countries, or states. Thank you. I appreciate it, appreciate it very much. Thank you all for coming.





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