Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Perry Receives Defender of Jerusalem Award

Thursday, August 13, 2009  •  Press Release

JERUSALEM – Gov. Rick Perry has received the Defender of Jerusalem Award, which is given to public figures who have demonstrated support and commitment to the state of Israel and its capitol, Jerusalem. The governor accepted the award while on his trip to Israel, where he also met with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and business and academic leaders.

“I have long supported the right of a Jewish state to exist in the Middle East and firmly believe in the protection and preservation of democratic states in that part of the world,” Gov. Perry said. “After visiting several sacred and historic sites, meeting with business, civic and government leaders and seeing the day-to-day lives of the people on my trips to Israel, I am even more convinced that a safe, secure Israel is an essential part of stability in this part of the world.” 

The Defender of Jerusalem Award was created in 2008 by Guma Aguiar, head of the Lillian Jean Kaplan Foundation, as a tribute to dignitaries within Israel and around the world who have demonstrated strong support for the people of Jerusalem and Israel. The first award was presented to Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Gov. Perry continues to be a staunch supporter of Israel. After a trip to the area in 2007, the governor supported Texas’ divestment from companies that do business with Iran, a main opponent of Israeli freedom. Additionally, as a result of meetings with Israeli leadership during the governor and first lady’s visit to Israel in 2007, the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce was created to help launch future commercial interests and solidify the strong business and cultural connections between the two states.

Texas is Israel’s fourth largest American trading partner. Texas and Israel’s commercial relationship began with agriculture and natural resources, and has grown in recent years to include a variety of major business sectors, including information and communication technologies, aerospace and defense, medical technologies, homeland security initiatives and renewable energies.

The governor is scheduled to return to Texas on Saturday.

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