Inside Israel 12:16 AM 3/7/2014
Middle East 5:43 AM 3/7/2014
Middle East 4:45 AM 3/7/2014
Life Lessons with Judy Simon
I am a resident of Shiloh, with my wife and children, and now grandchildren, since 1981, having come on Aliyah in 1970. I have served in a volunteer capacity as a Yesha Council spokesperson, twice a member of Amana's secretariat, Benjamin Regional Council plenum member and mayor of Shiloh. I was a parliamentary aide for Geula Cohen and two other MKs, an advisor to a Minister, vice-chairman and executive director of Israel's Media Watch and currently, am Information and Content Resource coordinator for the Begin Heritage Center.
He had a full schedule which included, among other venues and people, a meeting with leaders of the Shomron (Samaria) Regional Council.
The meeting, it was explained:-
"was part of an effort by the Shomron Regional Council, which has established its own Foreign Ministry after realizing that other groups were not going to take the lead in promoting Israeli communities in the region. The heads of the Council have been meeting with U.S. lawmakers and explaining to them the importance of keeping Judea and Samaria under Israeli control.
As it happens, I am pretty sure the Yesha Council has its own External Affairs Unit, reestablished recently. Since I was part of the 1990 founding of a Foreign Media Desk of the Council, which has existed ever since, albeit with breaks, suffering from a lack of budget and attention and even an understanding of the importance of such a unit, the initiative could not have "taken the lead" although they may have been thinking they were.
I am not going to argue who has the greater wisdom, the greater experience, the greater outreach. I would suggest that some people in high places do some rethinking and quick.
The almost 400,000 Yesha residents do not need two "Foreign Ministries".
The issues are not solely "keeping Judea and Samaria". Even if it was - and not also water, environment, boycott, security, demographics, construction - we cannot afford to present our, unfortunately usual, split personality. Yesha residents are representative of the full gamut of the social, religious and political spectrum and as such, the broader the 'face', the better. As far as I know, Gershon Mesika, as a member of the Yesha Council, is quite well aware of the new Unit. I think it should behoove him to cooperate, for all out benefit, including the Samaria Region. We do not need to be seen arguing in public.