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Gov. Perry: Texas A&M to Open Campus in Israel

By: JTA

Texas A&M is set to announce the creation of a branch campus in Israel.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp are in Israel, where they will announce plans for Texas A&M Peace University in Nazareth on Wednesday, The New York Times reported.

The newspaper said Texas A&M would become the first American university to have a branch campus in Israel.

Perry and Sharp will be joined in the announcement by Israeli President Shimon Peres and Minister of Education Shai Piron.

Financing will come from private donors in Texas and around the world since Texas A&M is prohibited from investing public dollars in international campuses, the newspaper reported.

Students and teachers at the campus in Nazareth, a northern Israeli city of some 81,000 populated mainly by Arab-Israelis, will include Arabs and Jews, as well as international students and faculty, the university told the Times.

“I wanted a presence in Israel,” Sharp, who became chancellor in 2011, told the newspaper. “I have felt a kinship with Israel.”

Sharp and Perry were college roommates at Texas A&M.

Sharp involved evangelical pastor John Hagee in the project. Hagee, who has raised millions of dollars for Israel, helped connect university officials with Israeli leaders, The New York Times reported.

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