Arizona and Israel
Trade and Population Statistics
|Exports to Israel (2015)
| Percentage Change (2014-2015)
| Total Exports to Israel (1996-Present)
|Israel's Trade Partner Rank (2015)
|Military Contracts with Israel (2015)
|Jewish Population (2015)
| Jewish Percentage of Population
foundation grants shared by Arizona and Israel
Grant recipients in
Arizona from U.S.-Israel binational foundations:
Arizona State University
Fairchild Data Corp.
University of Arizona
US Water Conservation Lab
USDA Aridland Watershed Management
USDA Carl Hayden Bee Research Center
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Agreements - "Memoranda of Understanding"
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Arizona Formalizes Support for Israel
In March 2012, the Arizona House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 2008, a resolution bill officially titled "Supporting the State of Israel." The bill begins by recognizing "the Jewish people...in their homeland." It later hails Arizona and Israel as eclectic "trade partners, a relationship we seek to enhance," according to the bill's authors. The bill ended with a call that the Members of the House of Representatives wholeheartedly support the Israeli government's call for peace and direct talks to lead us to that peace. Read the resolution, CLICK HERE.
Arizona Government Missions to Israel
October 2013 - A group of seven firefighters from the Tucson travelled to Israel to shadow and see how foreign firefighters deal with tragedies. "We train for those types of things but the Israeli firefighters are doing it day in and day out so again it's a comparison of best practices," Asst. Tucson Fire Chief Mike McKendrick said. Read more abou the trip, CLICK HERE.
September 2013 - A special Southwest Border bomb squad, the Pima Regional Bomb Squad, traveled to Israel to learn from their counterparts in the Israeli Police. Sgt. Chris Rogers and Deputy John Morris represented the Pima team during their time in Israel, which was funded by the Department of Defense.
"[We went to Israel] so we could get first hand training and experiences from the Israeli who have been dealing with cross border Improvised Explosive Devices for some time now," Rogers said. The quad will apply lessons learned from Israeli officers to the cross border illegal activity the Pima squad encounters along the US-Mexican border. To read more, CLICK HERE.
January 2013 - Senator Jeff Flake [R] joined a delegation of senators in a visit to Afghanistan and Israel, where they met with military officials to discuss the political, economic and security issues affecting bilateral and regional relations. In Israel, the senators met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
August 2011 - Congressman David Schweikert
accompanied the 81-member Congressional delegation to Israel to learn
more about regional politics and the U.S.-Israel relationship.
March 2008 - Senator John McCain joined
Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on an official
congressional visit to Israel to learn more about regional threats in
the Middle East and ways in which the United States and Israel can collaborate
on responses. While in Israel, the trio of senators met with Israeli
Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni who stressed the
importance of dealing with the rising tide of Islamic extremism. "It
is impossible to achieve peace without dealing with the fundamental
issues of terrorism and extreme Islamism. A change in Gaza is essential,"
said Minister Livni. Read more about this high level meeting, CLICK
October 2007 - Attorney General Terry Goddard traveled to Israel as part of a legal exchange program between the National Association of Attorneys General and the Israeli government to learn more about the Israeli legal system, discuss comparative legal systems and confer on mutual issues where cooperation is needed, such as anti-terrorism initiatives, cybercrime, civil rights, criminal law and juvenile crime. "This is an excellent opportunity to talk with some of the top legal scholars in Israel, as well as meet with government officials and hear their perspectives about the current political environment," Goddard said. Learn more, CLICK HERE
January 2005 - Attorney General Terry Goddard went to Israel to learn more about that nation's legal system and about preventing and responding to terrorist acts. Goddard joined a delegation that met with several top-ranking Israeli officials, including the country's attorney general, defense minister, supreme court chief justice and the head of internal security. Topics discussed included extradition, civil rights, youth violence and cyber crime. "This will be a unique opportunity to study first-hand the ways Israel responds to terrorism and how it protects its citizens," Goddard said. Learn more, CLICK HERE.
July 1999 - Arizona Attorney General
Janet Napolitano joined eight other state attorneys general for a trip
to Israel to explore U.S.-Israel cooperation in legal affairs. The attorney
general also discussed issues including youth violence, the death penalty,
and extradition laws.
The U.S.-Israel relationship is based on the twin
pillars of shared values and mutual interests. Given this commonality of
interests and beliefs, it should not be surprising that support for Israel
is one of the most pronounced and consistent foreign policy values of the
It is more difficult to devise programs that capitalize
on the two nations' shared values than their security interests;
nevertheless, such programs do exist. In fact, these SHARED VALUE
INITIATIVES cover a broad range of areas, including the environment,
science and technology, education and health.
As analyst David Pollock noted, Israel is an advanced country with a population that surpassed eight million people in 2013 and a robust, dynamic economy that allowed it to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Between 2005 and 2013, Israel has represented a larger market for U.S. exports than Saudi Arabia. Although Israel's citizenry make up just 3 percent of the total region's population, Israel accounts for 25 percent of American exports in the Middle East.
"It has also been one of the top 20 foreign direct investors in the United States since 2009," Pollock confirms. He adds that "$2.25 billion of the $3 billion in annual U.S. aid to Israel comes back via Israeli purchases of U.S. military equipment - and that is just 5 percent of the total bilateral trade each year."
Today's interdependent global economy requires that
trade policy be developed at the national and state level.
Many states have recognized the opportunity for realizing
significant benefits by seeking to increase trade with Israel. Arizona is one of 33 states that have cooperative
agreements with Israel.
In 2012, Arizona exported over $132,660,031.00 worth
of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, Arizona exports to
Israel have totaled more than $2,092,338,674.00 and Israel now ranks as Arizona’s
16th leading trade partner.
Additionally in 2012, Arizona received more than
$XXX in foreign military financing (FMF) for US military aid
to Israel. Some of those companies that have received funding through FMF in 2012 or past years
include: Aeromaritime America, Inc. in Mesa, Asfir Inc. in Scottsdale and International Turbine Engine in Phoenix.
Israel is certainly a place where potential business
and trade partners can be found. It can also be a source, however, for
innovative programs and ideas for addressing problems facing the citizens
Israel has developed a number of pioneering education programs. For example, AICE introduced an innovative Israeli
peer tutoring program to North Carolina that educators adapted for use
in the United States. Now known as Reading Together, the program is
used in 28 states. The program is designed to help students achieve
reading fluency and is mostly used for children in second grade. The
hope is that with its implementation, increasing numbers of students
will perform at grade level or above.
A range of other exciting approaches to social problems
like unemployment, environmental protection and drug abuse have been
successfully implemented in Israel and could be imported for the benefit
The potential for greater cooperation with Israel for
the benefit of Arizona is limited only by the imagination.
Profit From Business With Israel
As the only country with free trade
agreements with both the United States and the European
community, Israel can act as a bridge for international
trade between the United States and Europe. Moreover,
because of the deep pool of talent, particularly
in high-technology areas, Israel provides excellent
investment opportunities. Some of the nations
largest companies, such as IBM, Microsoft, Motorola,
Intel and McDonalds have found that it is indeed
profitable to do business in Israel.
More than 90 Arizona companies have
discovered the benefits of doing business in Israel,
including Gilbert Engineering, White Microelectronics,
Burr Brown, Ace Aviation and Litton Systems.
Gilbert Engineering has had 10 years
of good experience in selling cable television connectors
to Israel. According to Alan Butter, director of
international sales and marketing, Gilbert had a
Jewish salesperson working for them who found the
opportunity to do business with Israel, and they
have been selling there ever since. He added that
although the market for cable T.V. is like
a roller coaster in that it goes up and down Gilbert
Engineering has been successful and has had no problems
dealing with Israel.
White Microelectronics is a manufacturer
of memory and micro-processing products that are
used in defense oriented programs and telecommunications.
They were initially attracted to Israel more than
10 years ago because of the large market for defense
items and have since found it easy to do business
there. International Sales Support Manager, Kate
Hopeman, said we do business internationally
and Israel is one of our most successful markets.
Doing business with Israel is really good for American
companies because Israel makes a lot of American
defense products. A product may be made and produced
in Israel but the final result comes back to the
For more than eight years, Ace Aviation
Service has supplied spare ordinance parts, such
as those used in hydraulic or aircraft fittings,
to the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Ed Lujan, General
Manager of Ace Aviation, said Israel has been a
good market and the companys experience
dealing with Israel has been very positive when compared
to other countries. I want to reiterate that
this relationship is a mutual agreement and dealing
with the Ministry of Defense is very advantageous. Lujan
said Israel always pays its bills on time and, unlike
the Pentagon, which can take weeks to answer a question,
the Israeli government responds in only one day. I
very much like dealing with Israel because they are
always very prompt and the questions we ask them
are always answered.
Bob Alexander, International Marketing
Manager for Litton Systems, said the Israelis are
very knowledgeable about the products they are requesting.
Litton Systems has been supplying the Israeli military
and law enforcement agencies night vision equipment
for more than 20 years. After Litton sells a product
to Israel, they come back for spares, support
equipment and service, said Alexander. Litton
Systems has a consultant in Israel who offers Litton
products to Israeli agencies. Alexander added that Israel
has always been a good market and I enjoy working
One good way to break into the Israeli market is through
a joint venture with an Israeli company. Funding for such projects is
available from the Binational
Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD). BIRD funds projects in 36 states and the District of
Columbia and hundreds of companies including AOL, GE, BP Solar, Texas
Instruments and Johnson & Johnson have benefitted from BIRD grants.
The United States and Israel established BIRD in 1977
to fund joint U.S.-Israeli teams in the development and subsequent commercialization
of innovative, nondefense technological products from which both the
Israeli and American company can expect to derive benefits commensurate
with the investments and risks. Most grant recipients are small businesses
involved with software, instrumentation, communications, medical devices
Since its inception, BIRD has funded more than 800
joint high-tech R&D projects through conditional grants totaling
more than $210 million. Products developed from these ventures have
generated more than $8 billion in direct and indirect revenues for both
countries and has helped to create an estimated 20,000 American jobs.
Dr. Eli Opper, the former Israeli chair of BIRD, has
said that BIRD is a strong pillar of US-Israel industrial
cooperation and that the extreme success of BIRD has
led Israel to adopt similar models of R&D with other countries.
At present, Fairchild Data Corporation is one of a
number of Arizona company that have taken advantage of the opportunity BIRD offers to reduce the risk of new ventures and
tap into the deep pool of Israeli talent. Altogether, Arizona companies
have shared nearly $1 million in BIRD grants with their
colleagues in Israel.
Arizona researchers are making scientific breakthroughs
and developing cutting-edge technologies in joint projects with Israeli
scientists thanks to support from the Binational
Science Foundation (BSF). BSF was established in 1972 to promote scientific relations
and cooperation between scientists from the United States and Israel.
The fund supports collaborative research projects in a wide area of
basic and applied scientific field for peaceful and non-profit purposes.
Since its inception, BSF has awarded some $480 million
through more than 4,000 grants in 45 states and the District of Columbia.
BSF-sponsored studies are highly successful
in achieving their two main goals: strengthening the US-Israel partnership
through science and promoting world-class scientific research for the
benefit of the two countries and all mankind. The BSF grants help extend research resources to achieve milestones that might
not otherwise be attainable; introduce novel approaches and techniques
to lead American researchers in new directions; confirm, clarify and
intensify research projects; and provide unmatched access to Israeli
equipment, facilities and research results that help speed American
scientific advances. BSF has documented no less than
75 new discoveries made possible by its research grants and counts 37
Nobel Prize and 19 Lasker Medical Award laureates among its joint partners.
Arizona scientists have shared with their counterparts
in Israel more than $3 million in BSF grants awarded
since 1996 alone.
Peter Killeen, a professor of psychology
at Arizona State and Richard Schuster of Haifa University
knew each other in graduate school. Schuster asked
Killeen to review a manuscript for a study on cooperation
and after he did so, they decided the project could
be improved if they worked together. Killeen does
more of the mathematical evaluation part of the experiment
while Schuster conducts the empirical research.
Together they are trying to gain a better understanding
of cooperation and competition. Through experimentation they hope to
learn how rewards affect the behavior of two dominant organisms or one
dominant and one subordinate. For example, Schuster puts two rats in
a box. To get fed they must cooperate. The scientists then look at what
reinforcements work in the situation.
As of now, the team is testing on nonhuman subjects
but once we find out more, we will test on humans, said Killeen.
Thousands of species cooperate, but, when dealing with humans,
you have promises. Nonhumans are simpler to start with because they
have no language or cultural expectations. Killeen hopes the experiment
will result in publications, another grant request and fresh ideas
for human interactive cooperation.
University of Arizona astronomer Hans Rix is collaborating
with Dan Maoz of Tel Aviv University to study the structure of galaxies.
The two scientists were already working together and the BSF grant allowed us to continue our study, said Rix. Maoz and Rix
visit each other once a year and Rix says their collaboration has been
very productive and good. Although the research is basic
science and will not result in a tangible product, their ultimate goal
is to see how the galaxy was formed.
Researchers Zvika Abramsky at Ben-Gurion University
in Beer Sheva along with Michael Rosenzweig at the University of Arizona
in Tucson developed a project that would enable them to find evidence
for the accuracy of mathematical models and statistical graphs of the
distribution and variety of species in nature. One particular theory
to be tested was whether fitness declines as the population density
rises. An experiment was performed with organisms, enclosures (used
to control population density) and two different habitats.
Officials from Ben-Gurion University and Arizona State University signed a collaborative research agreement in March 2015. Citing common interests between the school's research departments and demographics, the agreement affords for collaboration in the areas of cyber security, homeland security, nanotechnology, robotics, and the development of medical equipment. This agreement provides for both professional joint research, and student exchanges.
BSF-sponsored studies benefit the
United States by extending research resources to achieve milestones
that might not otherwise be attainable; introducing novel approaches
and techniques that can lead American researchers to move in new directions;
confirming, clarifying and intensifying research projects; providing
access to Israeli equipment and facilities and early access to Israeli
research results that speed American scientific advances. BSF documented no less than 75 new discoveries that probably would not have
been possible without foundation-supported collaboration.
In 1978 the United States and Israel jointly created
the Binational Agricultural
Research and Development Fund (BARD)
to help fund programs between US and Israeli scientists for mutually
beneficial, mission-oriented, strategic and applied research into agricultural
problems. Since its inception, BARD has funded more
than 1,000 projects in 45 states and the District of Columbia with a
total investment of more than $250 million. In 2000, an independent
and external economic review of 10 BARD projects conservatively
projected more than $700 million in revenue by the end of 2010, a number
which far outweighs the total investment in all BARD projects over its 33 year existence and helps to continually strengthen
Most BARD projects focus on either increasing agricultural
productivity, plant and animal health or food quality and safety and
have been influential in creating new technologies in drip irrigation,
pesticides, fish farming, livestock, poultry, disease control and farm
equipment. BARD funds projects in 45 states and the
District of Columbia and at present is beginning to administer collaborative
efforts between Australia, Canada and Israel as well. It is difficult
to break down the impact on a state-by-state basis, but overall, BARD-sponsored
research has generated sales of more than $500 million, tax revenues
of more than $100 million and created more than 5,000 American jobs.
Improving the growth of infected plants and potentially
trying to make a bigger corn seed are two examples of joint research
projects conducted under the auspices of BARD in Arizona,
where institutions have recieved grants worth almost $2.5 million since
Plants infected by diseases attributable
to nematodes cost U.S. agriculture $9 billion a year.
Nematodes are round worms that can be microscopic,
such as the type that attack plants, or larger, like
those that attack animals (including humans). Although
this is a global problem, Israel and Arizona share
climatic and soil similarities that make for fruitful
scientific collaboration. Michael McClure, a professor
of plant pathology at the University of Arizona,
is working with Itzchak Spiegel of the Agriculture
Research Organization in Israel on a project focusing
on what happens when these worms enter a plant.
Most nematodes attack the roots, which stunts their
growth and prevents the development of a healthy plant. We want
to find out what we can do to the nematodes so they wont injure
the plant, or what we can do to the plant so the nematodes wont
injure the plant, said McClure. The two scientists have known
each other for years and have worked together in the past. McClure adds
that the current project has resulted in very good and fruitful
collaboration which would not have been possible without the BARD grant. BARD provides the opportunity to conduct collaborative
work in Israel and the U.S. By working on the same ideas we can pool
our ideas and research.
The University of Arizonas Brian Larkins is collaborating
with Gideon Grafi of the Department of Plant Genetics at the Weizmann
Institute in Israel to study cell cycle regulation in the development
of maize seeds. Their research focuses on how much protein and starch
are made in the corn seed and how that affects crop yield. This grant
was awarded in 1997, so the team is still in the early stages of their
research. One of the first steps involves putting genes into single
cells that will then grow into whole plants. This process alone takes
one year. We are trying to make bigger seeds, said Larkins.
Grafi had been a postdoctoral student of Larkins at Arizona and, according
to Larkins, the BARD grant has helped Grafi get started
in Israel and has afforded them the opportunity to continue working
Arizona, one of the countrys largest producers
of cotton (total U.S. production exceeds $5 billion a year), also benefits
from BARD research done outside of the state. Joint
research resulting from a BARD grant has shaped the
way cotton is grown today. BARD grantees from Israel
and Mississippi developed and tested a computer model that would reduce
the amount of water and fertilizer cotton farmers need to produce their
crops. Their research resulted in an invention called COTMOD, which
describes how water, soil, fertilizer and farming practices affect cotton
production. The model can also be expanded to predict the fate of pesticides
and environmental contaminations as well. The USDA combined this model
with two others and provides it, free of charge, to American farmers
and agricultural consultants. By advising growers, such as those in
Arizona, on optimal irrigation and fertilization strategies, the system
can save farmers an average of about $60 per acre, or about $48 per
Other BARD grantees have helped pecan
growers all over the American Southwest. Once farmers were plagued by
the premature death, stunted growth and low yields of pecan trees, but
researchers from Texas A&M and the Israeli Agricultural Research
Organization found that the problem was that soil permeability aggravated
the effects of salinity. They developed a series of computerized models,
irrigation schedules and recommendations that will prevent such problems
in the future. They also developed methods to save the 68,000 acres
of pecan trees already planted on inappropriate soils in Arizona, New
Mexico and Texas.
BARD-supported scientists have also
developed a more effective technique for packaging fresh fruits
wrapping each fruit in thin, high-density plastic films. This seal prolongs
the marketability of the fruit, prevents weight loss and shrinkage 5
to 10 times better than wax, virtually eliminates the need for expensive
refrigeration and controls many disfiguring blemishes such as red-blotch
in lemons and stem-end rind breakdown in oranges, all without toxic
additives. Plastic wrap also reduces water loss, injury and decay in
sweet corn, peaches, nectarines and melon. This system is highly useful
and attractive for exports as the film can easily be printed with brand
name advertising. Studies have shown that this technique could drop
the per carton cost of shipping perishable fruits drastically. Commercial
plants are already operating in Arizona, California, Israel and elsewhere.
A team of agricultural economists from the University
of Maryland and the University of California found that the economic
benefits of just five projects related to cotton, pecans and
solarization exceeded all U.S. investment in BARD.
New projects promote increased quantity and improved quality of agricultural
In 1998, the Negev Foundation met with the Hopi Indian Nation in Arizona
to investigate ways to apply desert farming techniques developed at
the Ramat Negev AgroResearch Center, a regional government facility
in Israel. The foundation facilitated between the Hopi leadership, University
of Arizona Faculty of Agriculture and representatives of Ben-Gurion
University of the Negev. Today, more than a decade later, Hopi farmers
continue to implement new desert agricultural methods and work directly
with extension service professionals from the University of Arizona
in Tuscon who specialize in desert/arid lands agricultural methods.
For more information, CLICK
In September 2009, the University of Arizona's Water Resources
Research Center and Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy joined
to host a panel discussion as part of their "Arizona-Israel-Palestinian
Water Management & Policy Workshop". The three day event brought
together experts and researchers from all three regions to help identify
water management challenges in semi-arad climates and to come up with
possible solutions. The goal of the workshop was to focus on the common
problems that affect these areas and how scientists from Arizona, Israel
and Palestine can work together to bridge their problems. Read more
about the workshop, CLICK
- The University of Arizona is a member of the International
Arid Lands Consortium, a Congress-funded independent, nonprofit
organization established in 1989 that conducts research, develops applications
in arid and semiarid land technologies, and applies its projects in
countries around the world including the U.S. and Israel.
Jewish Community Relations Council
32 West Coolidge
Phoenix, AZ 85015
Jewish Federation Greater Phoenix
12701 North Scottsdale Road, Suite 201
Scottsdale, AZ 85254-5453
Tel. 480-634 4900
Jewish Federation Of South Arizona
3822 E River Rd #100
Tucson, AZ 857186665
Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona
3822 East River Rd., #100
Tucson, AZ 85718