Having just returned from a weeklong trip to the Holy Land, Texas Gov. Rick Perry endorsed the formation of a state Holocaust and Genocide Commission to coordinate memorial events and preserve survivors’ accounts.

“As a state and nation, we are compelled to prevent future episodes of genocide and oppression by casting the light of truth on their history,” the governor said on Tuesday upon signing legislation creating the commission. “Ultimately, that truth, and the willingness to defend the vulnerable among us will lead to greater justice.”

The week before, Perry toured Israel as leader of a delegation seeking to expand on the economic cooperation between the country and Texas, its fourth-largest U.S. trading partner. Just before returning home, he briefed Jewish reporters and leaders, including Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff, on his trip, which featured stops at the border town of Sderot and the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

During the conference call, Perry talked up partnerships between the University of Texas and Texas Tech University and Israeli universities that have seen the development of shared research projects. Lazaroff, who directs Chabad of the Uptown in Houston, asked the governor about the potential of Texas A&M University building upon agricultural technology used by Israeli farmers from the evacuated Gaza Strip.

Perry, who graduated from the school, replied that several initiatives were in the works, but that he couldn’t directly comment on them for the time being. …