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Along with announcing the creation of the new Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce, to be based in Richardson, Governor Rick Perry yesterday asked the state’s Employees Retirement System and Teachers Retirement System to divest any funds from companies doing business with the Islamic Republic of Iran, for its role in sponsoring terrorism and threats toward Israel. “I personally believe that any company that does business with Iran is actively assisting those who seek to harm American men and women who are serving in the Middle East and funds terror attacks on our allies in the region,” Perry said.

Texas is Israel’s third-largest U.S. trading partner, particularly in telecommunications, software and biotech, and the 13th state to form a formal economic alliance with Israel. That gives the Lone Star State some clout, according to Perry’s optimistic assessment of the future: “As we usher in a new era of relations between Texas and Israel, we speak of a grand vision of a world where terror is defeated by kinship, economic partnerships create new opportunities and people are free to work and live in peace … Strengthening relationships between these two 'Lone Star States' will benefit our respective economies and increase understanding." OK, but, really -- two "Lone Star States"? Oy vey.

But, hey -- world peace. Great goal. And the speech establishes Perry’s bona fides as a player on the world stage -- at least, in a Miss America kind of way. Wonder if this is some kind of a signal that Perry is contemplating a run for president in 2012. Oy vey. --Glenna Whitley

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