Guest Op Ed: David Shafer

August 30, 2013 15:19 pm

by Eric The Younger · 9 comments

This is a guest op ed from David Shafer, the President Pro Tempore of the Georgia Senate and Senator from Duluth.

 

Georgia’s Friendship with Israel Key to International Trade and Foreign Investment Growth

Israel is the cradle of the great Abrahamic religions and the site of many important events of the Old and New Testaments. It is also a modern democracy and one this country’s and state’s most important trading partners.

I recently had the opportunity to join a delegation exploring ways to strengthen ties between the State of Georgia and Israel. Sponsored by the American-Israel Friendship League, this year’s trip focused on Israel’s international trade and foreign investment growth.

While there, the delegation– representing nine states across the U.S – met with members of Israel’s Knesset, listened to briefings on Israel’s cutting-edge technology sector and discussed job creation with Israel’s leading business executives.

With a land mass the size of New Jersey and a population of eight million, Israel stands out as a model of economic success in today’s global economy. Although it represents one of the smallest nations in the Middle East, Israel is recognized worldwide as a leader in emerging technologies, defense infrastructure and the agricultural and manufacturing markets. We were able to learn from many of these innovative jobcreators first-hand in a packed schedule of highly productive meetings.

Particularly fascinating was our visit to the campus of ISCAR, a worldwide leader in metalworking and manufacturing tools. Founded in the garage of Stef Wertheimer, a Holocaust survivor, ISCAR is now a multibillion dollar division of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. We had an opportunity to visit with Mr. Wertheimer about the history of ISCAR and his vision for manufacturing in the 21st century.

Mr. Wertheimer is largely responsible for the exponential growth and development of  “industrial parks” throughout Israel. These industrial parks – similar in concept to the  business incubators operated by several of our public colleges but geared toward manufacturing — generate nearly $1 billion in revenue annually. The parks include manufacturing and warehouse space for startup businesses, technical training for the workers that those businesses employ and a range of services for the beginning entrepreneur. There is no limit on how long a business can remain in a park, but the rent ratchets up each year, giving them a powerful incentive to grow, build facilities of their own and make space in the park for a new business.

The industrial park I visited also included a school for the children of those employed at the park, creating a vibrant community where school children learned and played not far from where their parents worked.

With Israel’s vibrant economy and expanding role in the marketplace, Georgia can learn a lot from Israel – and vice versa. In 2010, our state became one of only 13 states to open an office of economic development in downtown Tel Aviv. As a result, Georgia has opened at least four companies in Israel, including Arel Communications and Software, Inc., Brand Energy and Infrastructure Services, Inc., and Travelport.

Georgia is also home to 17 Israeli-based companies that provide jobs to more than 700 hard-working Georgians. These jobs mainly employ workers in Georgia’s manufacturing sector and take advantage of our state’s highly-skilled workforce.

Even more remarkable is Israel’s bilateral trade relationship with Georgia. According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Georgia’s imports from Israel totaled $285.8 million while our exports totaled $158.8 million in 2012.

Strengthening the relationship between the State of Georgia and Israel is essential to fostering economic growth and showing companies both at home and abroad that Georgia’s doors are open for business.

I am grateful to the America-Israel Friendship League, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and members of Israel’s parliament and business community for their hospitality and willingness to build cooperative partnerships that benefit both Israel and the State of Georgia. It is my deepest hope that Georgia will continue to enjoy a longstanding friendship with Israel as we work together to expand and attract future business investment.

 

peachpundit (@peachpundit) August 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm

New post: Guest Op Ed: David Shafer http://t.co/X1Xyp3exbv #gapol

Rick Day August 30, 2013 at 6:32 pm

Georgia’s Friendship with Israel Key to International Trade and Foreign Investment Growth

(Or, how to suck up to the Jooos)

Israel is the cradle of the great Abrahamic religions and the site of many important events of the Old and New Testaments.
[citation from factual source needed], also, so was Syria, Lebanon, parts of Turkey, Egypt, etc. But ISRAEL!!

It is also a modern democracy and one this country’s and state’s most important trading partners.

States? As in GA? What are we importing and exporting? diamonds?
The United States is Israel’s largest single trading partner. The top five U.S. exports to Israel are: diamonds, machinery, agricultural products, aircraft, and optic and medical instruments. The top five U.S. imports from Israel are: include diamonds, pharmaceutical products, machinery, optic and medical instruments, and agricultural products. U.S. direct investment in Israel is primarily in the manufacturing sector, as is Israeli investment in the United States.
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3581.htm

I recently had the opportunity to join a delegation exploring ways to strengthen ties between the State of Georgia and Israel. Sponsored by the American-Israel Friendship League, this year’s trip focused on Israel’s international trade and foreign investment growth.
Back home, we call these ‘junkets’. Did you go parasailing with Joe Biden while over there? Um, did you family attend too? Who paid for this junket, pray tell?

While there, the delegation– representing nine states across the U.S – met with members of Israel’s Knesset, listened to briefings on Israel’s cutting-edge technology sector and discussed job creation with Israel’s leading business executives.
Oy! Brutal! Bet that took all of 45 minutes. Afterwards, you all partied the night away, right?

With a land mass the size of New Jersey and a population of eight million, Israel stands out as a model of economic success in today’s global economy.

Because USA!

Although it represents one of the smallest nations in the Middle East, Israel is recognized worldwide as a leader in emerging technologies, defense infrastructure and the agricultural and manufacturing markets.

Because USA!

We were able to learn from many of these innovative job creators first-hand in a packed schedule of highly productive meetings.

I’d love to see an agenda.

Particularly fascinating was our visit to the campus of ISCAR, a worldwide leader in metalworking and manufacturing tools. Founded in the garage of Stef Wertheimer, a Holocaust survivor, ISCAR is now a multibillion dollar division of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. We had an opportunity to visit with Mr. Wertheimer about the history of ISCAR and his vision for manufacturing in the 21st century.

*sigh* Ya’ll always got to throw in the “H” word, for sympathy, don’t ya’ll?

Mr. Wertheimer is largely responsible for the exponential growth and development of “industrial parks” throughout Israel. These industrial parks – similar in concept to the business incubators operated by several of our public colleges but geared toward manufacturing — generate nearly $1 billion in revenue annually. The parks include manufacturing and warehouse space for startup businesses, technical training for the workers that those businesses employ and a range of services for the beginning entrepreneur. There is no limit on how long a business can remain in a park, but the rent ratchets up each year, giving them a powerful incentive to grow, build facilities of their own and make space in the park for a new business.

Yeah they have those in California with mentors like the founders of Google and such. When can we get some of this spiffy entrepreneur training down south?

The industrial park I visited also included a school for the children of those employed at the park, creating a vibrant community where school children learned and played not far from where their parents worked.

With Israel’s vibrant economy and expanding role in the marketplace, Georgia can learn a lot from Israel – and vice versa.

Learn things like…fear and loathing of neighbors? We got Tennessee for that!

In 2010, our state became one of only 13 states to open an office of economic development in downtown Tel Aviv. As a result, Georgia has opened at least four companies in Israel, including Arel Communications and Software, Inc., Brand Energy and Infrastructure Services, Inc., and Travelport.

Ahem..can we get some new companies here in GA too, please? Who elected you, the Knesset or the citizens of GA, sir?

Georgia is also home to 17 Israeli-based companies that provide jobs to more than 700 hard-working Georgians. These jobs mainly employ workers in Georgia’s manufacturing sector and take advantage of our state’s highly-skilled workforce.

Wow that is a whopping 41 employees per company average! We are saved by our Allies! Let’s send them some nice weapons. Israel loves weapons.

Even more remarkable is Israel’s bilateral trade relationship with Georgia. According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Georgia’s imports from Israel totaled $285.8 million while our exports totaled $158.8 million in 2012.

That is called “buying and owning you”. Example – your post. What in the WORLD, out of all the problems we need solved, are you advocating doing business with the smallest country in the Middle East?

Strengthening the relationship between the State of Georgia and Israel is essential to fostering economic growth and showing companies both at home and abroad that Georgia’s doors are open for business.

What does that even mean? How much ‘stronger’ you want, sir?? Must we all convert? Wait…we are totes a christian nation, doh!

I am grateful to the America-Israel Friendship League, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and members of Israel’s parliament and business community for their hospitality and willingness to build cooperative partnerships that benefit both Israel and the State of Georgia.

Oh so THAT is who paid for the junket! http://www.nndb.com/org/368/000134963/
a non-political entity chock FULL of Republicans and wealthy members of The Faith. Amazing.

It is my deepest hope that Georgia will continue to enjoy a longstanding friendship with Israel as we work together to expand and attract future business investment.

I’m confused. Is there an issue here that I am missing? Is Israel pissed at us, so we need this cheerleading session to solidify our already solid relationship?

Instead, type to us about how you plan on bringing real jobs to GA, instead of touting ‘swap outs’ with our favorite religious country.

Have a great weekend :)

View from Brookhaven August 30, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Pretty much.

Congrats on your vacation, Mr. Shafer. Glad you opted out of the midnight skinny dipping excursion.

Harry August 30, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Rick, the tone of your comments suggests you may have a problem dealing with independent minded and/or religious people. It’s a pity.

KingRichard September 1, 2013 at 9:51 am

Harry I agree with you that rant from Rick seems to reveal an intolerance towards an entire group of people based on religion. I am proud and wear it as a badge of courage that Georgia supports Israel, that I support Israel and I do that based purely on what that Nation and it’s people, it’s religion has been through. Plus I work alongside many Jewish people and find them quite pleasant and enjoyable people.

Harry September 2, 2013 at 12:26 am

I’ve been seeing more anti-Semitic comments lately. Whatever happened to the ADL?

D_in_ATL September 2, 2013 at 10:52 am

Your not taken seriously in Congress until you can show off your logo’d AIPAC knee-pads.

Harry September 2, 2013 at 12:35 pm

There you go.

xdog August 30, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Mr. Shafer, thanks for ‘Abrahamic’.

Rick Day, I’m glad you were able to free up your weekend. Thanks for that AIFL link. I thought Wiesel and Schultz were dead so I learned something. Nailed Kemp though.

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