History of OKIE
The Oklahoma Israel Exchange: OKIE was endorsed by Gov. David Walters in 1992 and became an
official non-profit organization during the administration of Gov. Frank Keating in 1997. The mission of
OKIE is to foster enhanced cooperation between the state of Israel and the state of Oklahoma in
commerce, agriculture, culture and education.
Partners For Change
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
American people. By engaging in SHARED VALUE INITIATIVES in
areas such as the environment, energy and health, the citizens of
both nations benefit.
Today's interdependent global economy requires that trade policy be developed at the national and
state level. Many states are realizing significant benefits by increasing trade with Israel. At least 22
states have cooperative arrangements with Israel.
In 2002, Oklahoma exported nearly $3.5 million worth of manufacturing goods to Israel. Israel is now
Oklahoma's 54th largest trade partner. The total value of exports since 1991 have exceeded $106
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 of
Israel, for example, has developed a number of pioneering education programs. One, the Home
Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY), has been praised by President Clinton as “the
best preschool program on earth” and replicated throughout the country after first being adopted in
Tulsa in 1984.
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 of
The potential for greater cooperation with Israel for the benefit of Oklahoma is limited only by the