Lawmakers in the Georgia State Assembly have launched the Georgia-Israel Legislative Caucus, a bicameral and bipartisan caucus that will work to expand bilateral ties between the southeastern state and Israel.
“Israel has maintained a consular presence in Georgia since 1956, and the State of Georgia has had representation in Israel since 1994. The launch of this new caucus is going to be a great addition to our longtime partnership,” Governor Brian Kemp says in a statement released by Israel’s Consul General to the Southeastern United States.
“As we soon approach our 74th Independence Day celebrations, I am especially pleased that we can also celebrate this unique enhancement to the relations between Israel and Georgia. I look forward to the Georgia-Israel Legislative Caucus providing an additional platform for mutual engagement and collaboration, contributing to the further strengthening of our mutually beneficial relations in the political, economic, cultural, academic and social realms,” says Israeli Consul General Anat Sultan-Dadon.
The Georgia-Israel Legislative Caucus will be co-chaired by Sen. John Albers, Rep. John Carson and Rep. Micah Gravely from the Republican side and Sen. Tonya Anderson, Rep. Debra Bazemore and Rep. Mike Wilensky from the Democratic side.
Over 100 Georgia companies currently due business in Israel and 90 Israeli firms have established offices in Georgia. Israel’s total trade with Georgia totaled $931.93 million in 2021, growing over 100% in the past ten years. Georgia is Israel’s 7th largest importer of goods in the United States, according to the Israeli consulate
The announcement comes a month after Kemp signed into law legislation that bars the state from entering into large contracts with companies that boycott Israel. An earlier version of the legislation included the phrase “Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories” in an apparent effort to include West Bank settlements as part of the areas that companies working with Georgia would not be allowed to boycott. However, the phrase “Israeli-controlled territories” was removed before Kemp signed HB 383 into law.