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Hawaii, Israel to share technology on range of shared issues

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Gov. David Ige and an Israeli consulate general today signed a “historic” agreement to share technology that could help Hawaii with desalinization, creating water out of “thin air,” cyber security and artificial intelligence.

In exchange, Israel could learn techniques from Hawaii to protect its marine environments in the Dead Sea, Lake of Galilee and the Red Sea, along with ways to preserve other natural habitats, said Consul General Hillel Newman from the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles.

The memorandum of understanding calls for “collaborative research” on a wide range of areas of shared concerns, such as water, agriculture, food security, sea level rise, marine sciences and alternative energy.

The University of Hawaii already works with Israel on research but the agreement could result in Israeli researchers and businesses in Hawaii, Newman said at a press conference in Ige’s ceremonial room that was attended by former Gov. Linda Lingle, Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth and UH President David Lassner, who worked as a shepherd in Israel his 20s.

Ige opened the press conference with “aloha and shalom” and Newman began his remarks with “shalom and aloha.”

Ige and Newman separately talked about the similarities between Hawaii and Israel and Newman coined a new phrase: “shaloha.”

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