Daily Israel Report

TV Celeb Visits Jews in Samaria, Says it Was 'Revolutionary'

Noted TV/radio broadcaster Avri Gilad visited Samaria on Wednesday, and in his next show described it as causing an “awareness revolution.”
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 4/15/2010, 12:43 PM / Last Update: 4/15/2010, 1:56 PM

Popular TV/radio broadcaster Avri Gilad visited Samaria on Wednesday, and in his next show described it as causing an “awareness revolution.”

Gilad visited several Jewish towns in the area in the framework of visits organized by the Samaria (Shomron) Regional Council for journalists and public figures. Based on Gilad’s comments on his high rating Army Radio show today, the visit succeeded beyond his hosts' expectations.

“Yesterday I was on an awareness-revolution tour in settlements in the Shomron,” Gilad said on the daily “Last Word” show that he frequently co-hosts. “I visited places that I had been taught to hate, and I came back confused. Confused at the stupidity of the State that called on people to settle those areas, gave them licenses to build, and then froze them.”

“I was surprised to meet a community of people with whom I had a lot to talk about,” Gilad continued, “and with much warmth and closeness. Most of the leftist talk about settlers is simply hatred.”

He said he was very surprised by how close the Shomron is to the Tel Aviv area: “A 23-minute drive and you’re already deep into the territory.”

The day-long tour was guided by Yossi Dagan, advisor to Shomron Regional Council head Gershon Mesika, and Boaz HaEtzni.

The itinerary included:

  • Barkan, both the town and the industrial zone, including a meeting with the Community Coordinator and a view of the Tel Aviv skyline.
  • Bruchin – meeting with head of secretariat and with Mesika.
  • City of Ariel
  • Itamar and the Givot Olam Farm, including a locally-produced organic meal of cheese, eggs and yogurts, and a visit to the stone artworks made by local resident Assaf Kidron.
  • Veteran town Elon Moreh, with an observation point of the northern Shomron and a long, deep discussion with pioneer settler Benny Katzover.
  • Har Bracha and the yeshiva there that was recently removed from the Hesder program by Defense Minister Barak, and members of the community's secretariat.
  • The Gilad Farm.
  • A drive along the Kaneh Brook road and a meal in the Havat Yair restaurant near Nofim.
Some 40 Cabinet ministers and MKs, and dozens of journalists and public relations personnel have already taken part in the personal tours, which are often carried out on an individual basis..