Pennsylvania’s Democratic senator calls for Prime Minister Netanyhau to reverse the decision to close the Israeli Consulate based in Center City.
As part of the effort to keep the Consulate General of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region open in Philadelphia, Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) drafted a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Jan. 15 urging him to reverse the pending closure.
Casey is the first U.S. or Pennsylvania public official to officially reach out on behalf of the consulate since the announcement.
“Curtailing Israel’s official representation in Philadelphia would adversely impact the historically strong ties that Pennsylvanians have enjoyed with Israel,” he wrote in the letter.
In his statement, Casey noted that Philadelphia and Israel’s strong relationship is imperative because the consulate provides a large potential for economic cooperation.
Considering the large Jewish community in Philadelphia, he added that “the loss of this consulate would cut off the direct line this region has had to the Israeli government. Its existence has always made it easier to communicate on commercial, cultural and one-on-one matters.”
Casey also pointed out in his letter that according to the Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce, approximately $5 billion of U.S. exports to Israel go through the Greater Philadelphia region each year.
“I have given particular focus to issues important to both our countries’ national security and economic growth,” he wrote to Netanyahu. “I believe that keeping the Israeli Consulate in Philadelphia open is vital to the furtherance of our two nation’s shared goals.”
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