A delegation of 50 New Jersey-based business leaders, including top figures at Johnson and Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), has canceled a visit to Israel because of the security situation.

The delegation was scheduled to arrive together August 17, accompanying New Jersey governor James McGreevey.

The change of plan followed a United States government travel advisory after the terror attack at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in which nine people were killed and almost 100 wounded.

McGreevey himself will be making a short 24-hour visit, during which he will meet with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

The delegation had been designed to promote strategic relations between Israeli and American biotechnology business. Among the dignitaries who miss the tour are Gerald M. Ostrov, manager of JNJ's Vision Care group; Debbie Hart, director of the state of New Jersey's Biotechnology Council; and Dr John Tesoriero, head of the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology.

On the other hand, a delegation from Virginia headed by Joe W. Meredith, president of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, will be arriving tomorrow, Monday. The mission's goal is to choose 15 Israeli post-startup hi-tech companies to work out of the Tech's center, under the Virginia Israel Technology Alliance VITAL.

Yossi Ben-Dak was named chairman of the VITAL summit selection committee, which will choose Israeli companies for a summit on October 17 to make presentations to investors.

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