He trekked to Israel at a particularly fraught moment. Just a few days earlier, thousands of Israelis paraded through a flag-festooned Jerusalem to celebrate Israel’s victory in a 1967 war that stirred up hostility from Palestinians who saw the march as a provocation.
Israeli leaders last week agreed to suspend fighting the Palestinian Islamic Jihad to end five days of rocket fire, airstrikes and violence between the Israeli military and the Gaza-based militant group that left 35 people dead.
And Israel is rocked by regular protests over a plan backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to give the government more control over the nation’s Supreme Court, worrying critics who see the bench as a safeguard against overreach.
The governor’s delegation includes roughly two dozen attendees, including House Speaker Jon Burns, Senate leader John Kennedy and state Rep. Shaw Blackmon, the chair of the Georgia House’s chief tax-writing committee.
It’s one of a handful of international trips by Kemp since he was elected in 2018. Shortly after that victory, he traveled to South Korea on his first economic development mission and to Germany to meet with electric mobility executives. He also journeyed to the Swiss ski resort of Davos in January for an annual conference of global leaders.
Israel is a relatively small trade partner with Georgia, ranking as the state’s 34th largest export market. About 20 Israeli firms have operations in Georgia.
But the country is prized for more than its cultural and religious importance. Israel’s high-tech economy is home to a thriving hub of entrepreneurs, and Kemp’s mission includes visits with several of the nation’s top innovators.