This is actually a very good story.
Gov. Sonny Perdue’s agricultural roots won him another supporter Wednesday when he met with Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during a stop on a weeklong trade mission to the Middle Eastern country.
Aides to Perdue were surprised that the courtesy call stretched to 45 minutes instead of the typical 15 for such formalities.
Later, the governor laid a wreath in a brief, solemn ceremony at the Holocaust Museum, another customary tribute by visiting dignitaries.
Perdue and his wife, Mary, were given separate tours of the Holocaust Museum because the longer meeting with Sharon shifted their schedules. Each was tight-lipped as they were guided through the stark exhibits, photos and few humble mementos.
After touring the collection of memorabilia from the Jewish victims of Adolf Hitler’s extermination campaign, Perdue signed the official guest book and left a half-page note.
The personal connection he made with Sharon was clearly a highlight of his day.
Like the governor, Sharon grew up in a farming community.
Perdue aides said the two got business out of the way and began talking about sheep breeding, crop yields and market prices.
“I always have to talk to politicians. It’s nice to talk with someone serious,” Sharon joked, according to people who attended the private meeting.
Accompanying Perdue was Senate Majority Leader Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, who worked on a communal farm as a young man. He spoke Hebrew with the prime minister whose hometown was near Williams’ former kibbutz.
Sharon was interested in Vidalia onions and asked to get samples.
In return, Perdue said Georgia could learn from the Israelis about water conservation and desalinization of seawater, and homeland security, three things the desert country has developed an expertise for years ago.
Very good stuff, Sonny.