Philly's Israeli Consulate Will Remain Open

By Queen Muse
|  Thursday, Dec 12, 2013  |  Updated 4:43 PM EDT
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Philly's Israeli Consulate Will Remain Open

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The Israeli Foreign Ministry today announced that Israel’s Consulate General in Philadelphia will not be closing its doors anytime soon, despite previous reports to the contrary.

Mayor Michael Nutter reportedly learned of the news via a letter from Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman. The letter was delivered to Nutter by Consul General of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region, Yaron Sideman, during a board meeting of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

Nutter, who recently returned from a 10-day trip to Israel, expressed his excitement at the news.
 
"Today’s announcement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs is tremendously exciting for the City of Philadelphia, our Jewish community, and the Consulate General. I want to thank Minister Liberman for his decision," Nutter said in a press release.
 
"The Consulate General of Israel in Philadelphia plays a tremendously important role in supporting our Jewish community and the strong business relationships that exist between Israel and Philadelphia. Preserving the consulate in Philadelphia was a true team effort involving the Consulate General, the Jewish Federation, Philadelphia-Israeli Chamber of Commerce, American Jewish Committee and elected officials at all levels of government. I would like to thank everyone involved.  Congratulations to Consul General Yaron Sideman and the Jewish community in Philadelphia."
 
Reports of the proposed closure originally surfaced in an October article in the Jerusalem Post. Led by Chamber President Richard A. Bendit, members of the Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce launched a months-long campaign to keep the Consulate open.
 
Bendit issued an open letter to supporters of the campaign earlier today.
 
"This is fantastic news for both Israel and the communities served by the Consulate," Bendit said in the open letter.
 
"Preserving an official Israeli presence in our region will help the Greater Philadelphia area maintain its leadership role in accelerating U.S.-Israeli business development, advocating pro-Israeli causes, and strengthening cultural, political and philanthropic ties between our two countries."

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