Why Rick Went to Israel

Texas and Israel talk launch new trade talking shop, but Gov. Perry really wants to talk about Iran.

When Gov. Rick Perry took a jaunt to Israel back in June, there was hot debate that he was building foreign-policy credentials for an attempted vice-presidential run. But now it seems that it was less about political posturing, and more about economics.

On Tuesday, Perry officially established the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce. While Texas is already Israel's number three US trading partner, there's room for improvement, especially since they have so much in common (insert gag about both wanting to put big walls up to keep their neighbors out here.) Calling Israel the other Lone Star State (it's a flag joke), he talked up the possibility for public and private partnerships, especially in the high-tech industry. Perry also boosted the idea that it will improve trade with the European Union - which kinda makes you wonder if he's very clear on where Israel is.

Of course, it wasn't completely free of political posturing. Yet again, he called for the Texas Employees Retirement System and Teachers Retirement System to divest themselves of any investments in companies that do business with Iran. It's a topic that so infuriates him that, even though the press release he put out was allegedly about the new chamber, the first four of its nine paragraphs are actually about how bad Iran is. But the plea to the ERS and TRS is an interesting step-down: back in July, Perry was threatening to either use his powers as governor or call a special session to force divestment. Now he's down to asking nicely.

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at austinchronicle.com/opinion.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Governor's Office
Gilbert's Sauce/Goose/Gander Moment
Gilbert's Sauce/Goose/Gander Moment
Parsing Hank Gilbert's switch from gov to ag commissioner race

Richard Whittaker, Dec. 6, 2009

See You Friday, Bill
See You Friday, Bill
Houston mayor to make announcement on switching primaries Friday

Richard Whittaker, Dec. 2, 2009

More Business & Economy
It's the Stupid Economy
It's the Stupid Economy
Fact-checking Perry's campaign against Texas' financial realities

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 16, 2011

Meet Bobby Jindal
Meet Bobby Jindal
Louisiana governor's big launch was supposed to raise his national profile

Richard Whittaker, Feb. 25, 2009

More by Richard Whittaker
Panic Fest 2022: <i>Dashcam</i>
Panic Fest 2022: Dashcam
Screen life horror works because you hate the "hero"

May 19, 2022

Men
Alex Garland's mix of gender and myth is saved by its villain

May 20, 2022

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Governor's Office, Business & Economy, Rick Perry, Israel, Iran, Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle