Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, wife Tammy Murphy, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during visit to Jerusalem

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Tuesday at his office in Jerusalem with New Jersey Governor Philip Dunton Murphy, who is visiting Israel with his wife Tammy on his first commercial mission to strengthen economic and technological ties between his state and the State of Israel.

The two leaders discussed ways to deepen cooperation and encourage continued economic development by focusing on encouraging investments in innovation in Israel and New Jersey. Murphy served as U.S. Ambassador to Germany under President Obama from 2009-2013.


Israel-New Jersey trade currently stands at approximately $1 billion per annum.

Murphy later participated in a formal planting ceremony held in his honor by Keren Kayemet L’Israel-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF).

The ceremony took place at the Yad Kennedy monument in Jerusalem together with 100 leaders from around the world, who together planted a tree in Jerusalem as a symbol of friendship, peace and continuity.

Also attending the ceremony was the governor’s wife, Mrs. Tammy Murphy, Israel’s General Consul in New York, Mr. Dani Dayan, and KKL-JNF Public Relations Executive Mr. Elisha Mizrachi.

“When I was Ambassador to Germany and thereafter people would ask me who was most responsible for my being in public service, and I said other than my mom and dad, spiritually it was John F. Kennedy,” Murphy noted in his remarks at the ceremony.

“In less than a month we will remember the tragedy of the late President Kennedy assassination 55 years ago,” KKL-JNF Public Relations Executive Elisha Mizrachi observed. “And just this week, we commemorated 23 years since the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. It’s something that is etched in our minds, what happens when a leader passes away, and we Israelis remember…

“…Mark Twain described this area when he visited the holy land as a desolate land – and it was. We proved that if you are stubborn enough as a forester and if you know how to wisely manipulate the ecological system – you can create beautiful forests in the desert.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.