Leftists Tour Samaria, And Come Away With a Changed Attitude (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By David Lev 05/13/12)
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Over 500 members of kibbutzim – most of them self-declared leftists -
toured Samaria last week, as guests of the “Getting to Know Samaria”
program. For nearly all, this was their first time in Judea and
Samaria. Most were secular, hailing from “hard left” kibbutzim
throughout the country.
The group visited, among other places, the Barkan Industrial Zone,
Itamar and Elon Moreh, and Mount Gerizim.
They summed up the tour at a meeting with Samaria Regional Council
head Gershon Mesika, former IDF Chief Rabbi Avichai Ronski of the
Itamar Yeshiva, and the IDF´s Uzi Dayan. Mesika, in his remarks, said
that Samaria welcomed all visitors, including those supporting and
opposed to Jewish settlement.
Mesika told the visitors that Samaria could no longer be ignored. The
region contains 12% of Israel´s land mass, and houses over 340,000
Jews of all religious and ethnic backgrounds. “It is the cradle of
the Bible and the birthplace of the Jewish people, and includes the
strategic backbone od the Land of Israel from its north to its center
with its central mountain range.”
The “Getting to Know Samaria” program is an extension of a program
begun by the Samaria Regional Council three years ago to encourage
politicians, foreign visitors, and journalists to visit the region.
The program was extended to the general public several months ago,
and so far over 400 busloads of visitors – over 20,000 people - have
taken the tour. About half are from secular backgrounds.
“The best part of the project is seeing the variety of people who are
visiting,” said Samaria Regional Council advisor Yossi Dagan. “We are
bypassing the media and bringing to the people of Israel to see
Jewish communities with their own eyes, giving them the opportunity
to honestly make up their minds and connect with us.”
(IsraelNationalNews © 2012 05/13/12)
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