Friday, August 25, 2017

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Israeli Deputy Consul General in New York visits Hudson Valley


Sagie: "... maintain Israel as a bipartisan nation"

POUGHKEEPSIE – Amir Sagie, the Deputy Consul General of Israel in New York, visited Vassar Temple Thursday as the last stop on his day-long tour around the Hudson Valley.

Accompanied by Assemblywoman Didi Barrett (D, Columbia, Dutchess), Sagie toured the Jewish-owned Kedem Winery in Marlboro, visited the Culinary Institute of America to commend its expanding Israeli cuisine curriculum, and met with Vassar College President Elizabeth Bradley to discuss recent controversies regarding the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement that have been perceived as anti-Semitic.

The trip culminated with a Q&A session in Vassar Temple in Poughkeepsie. Sagie took questions from locals as well as Assemblyman Frank Skartados (D, Milton) and City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Robert Rolison on U.S.-Israel relations.

“Tonight, this is our community’s chance to show our commitment and our relationship to our faith and the greater Israeli community,” said Barrett. “We know like family, we don’t always agree, but we love each other. I think there is a lot of opportunity to talk about things we care about.”

Sagie said his visit to the Hudson Valley will strengthen relationship between his country and this region.

“There is great potential for cooperation with Israel on various fields, whether it’s in economic development, the food industry and academics. There’s a very strong and vibrant Jewish community here that we cherish and would like to support.”

Israelis have also had accomplishments south of the Hudson Valley. There are now 400 Israeli-operated technology startups in Manhattan, a fact that prompted Mayor Rolison to suggest establishing the 401st startup in Poughkeepsie.

“We are ready, we are growing,” said Rolison.

The current political climate was a hot topic during the Q&A session. Assemblyman Skartados asked Sagie for his take on U.S.-Israel relations in the Trump administration.

“This alliance has been intact for many, many decades, and we would like to keep it this way,” Sagie said. “Our main goal is to maintain Israel as a bipartisan nation. We always maintained the best relations we could with any president siting in the White House.”   

Sagie also took the opportunity to address Israel’s progress in the fields of technology, food, medicine and the environment and its increased influence around the world.


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