As Mayor, I believe strongly in the relationship between the United States and Israel. Further, it is imperative that Columbia, specifically, grow its relationship with Israel. It is a relationship that should transcend partisan politics because of our shared values, friendship, and commitment to democracy.
Establish a Sister City Relationship
In 1956, President Eisenhower‘s White House Conference on Citizen Diplomacy established a program, Sister City International. He envisioned an organization that would facilitate peace and prosperity by connecting people around the world.
As Mayor, I will establish a sister city relationship with an Israeli city.
Israel has incredible advancements in the fields of technology, healthcare, agriculture, etc. This is due in part to the promotion of academic, cultural, and economic exchange from these sister city ties.
Having visited Israel, I saw first-hand these accomplishments created by the United States-Israel relationship.
This cultural, economic, and educational exchange will help the City of Columbia and our local businesses thrive.
A Tech Relationship
Growing Columbia requires a focus on economic development. Specifically, we must identify our growth clusters and identify opportunities for us to expand within those clusters.
Israel‘s world-renowned technology and innovation provides Columbia with an opportunity to expand and strengthen the technological opportunities we have, particularly in the insurance technology sector. For example, in exchange in this area would be mutually beneficial, strengthening our economy while supporting the economic development of Israel.
Securing our Future
Columbia is home to the US Army’s largest training center in Fort Jackson. Just 35 miles from Columbia is one of the US Air Force’s largest military bases in Shaw Air Force Base. And, South Carolina is home to critical military suppliers like Boeing.
There are enumerable synergies given our community’s military assets and Israel’s innovation in security and technology. We must continue to invest in military aid so that relationships like these can be forged and mutually benefit our citizens.
Boycott, Divest & Sanctions
As Mayor, I will support anti-Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) legislation. There is an opportunity for Columbia to be the first city in the state to pass anti-BDS legislation that expresses our support for Israel.