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 million.
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 Oklahoma.
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
The potential for greater cooperation with Israel for the benefit of
Oklahoma is limited only by the imagination.