Gov. Rick Scott heads to Israel on his fourth foreign trade mission on Thursday, reports the News Service of Florida. Going with the governor will be Senate President Mike Haridopolos, who said this week that the idea is to create jobs. The trip includes Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and in addition to the governor and Senate president and their wives, also will include University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft; Republican fundraiser Mel Sembler; Manatee County developer Pat Neal; and Fort Lauderdale lobbyists Fred Karlinsky and Bill Rubin, among others. It’s Scott’s fourth trade mission. Previous governors Charlie Crist and Jeb Bush also made official trips to Israel.
No word on whether former Gov. Charlie Crist asked Scott to pray for Florida, which Crist has aksed of other politicians headed to Israel.
Crist noted that just before his election in 2006, Florida had been affected by a total of eight hurricanes in 2004 and 2005.
“Do you know the last time it was we had a hurricane in Florida? It’s been awhile. In 2007, I took my first trade mission. Do you know where I went?” asked Crist, a Methodist.
He then told of going to the Western Wall and inserting a note with a prayer. He said it read, “Dear God, please protect our Florida from storms and other difficulties. Charlie.”
Last year, Sen. Nan Rich was traveling to Israel and Crist asked her to put a note in the Western Wall, a holy site in Judaism and a place where written prayers are traditionally placed.
“It was the same note, by the way, the same prayer,” Crist said.
This past May a friend was going to Israel and he gave him a prayer to put in the Western Wall. Afterward, he said he’s not taking credit for the lack of storms in this hurricane-prone state. “I give that to God,” Crist said. “But it’s nice.”