South Carolina Representative Alan Clemmons visited on Friday the community of Netzer, between Elazar and Alon Shvut. During the visit, Clemmons was given a tour by the leader of the Women in Green movement, who explained about local residents’ daily struggle to safeguard state lands from Arab encroachment.
Clemmons, a Christian friend of Israel, is behind the South Carolina stands with Israel resolution, a bill that was passed in June calling on the State of Israel to retain control over Judea and Samaria and highlighting what it terms the “cordial and mutually beneficial relations” enjoyed by Israel and South Carolina since 1948.
The resolution resolved that “the members of this body support Israel in their natural and G-d-given right of self-governance and self-defense upon their own lands, recognizing that Israel is neither an attacking force nor an occupier of the lands of others…”
During his visit to Netzer, Clemmons was very moved to walk on the Path of the Patriarchs and very upset to hear about the Arabs’ sabotage and attacks against the Jews planting in the area. Clemmons praised the determined Jewish activists who continue to plant and safeguard the land, not caving in to the Arab agricultural terror.
Clemmons also visited the archaeological excavation sites in Itamar, Har Gerizim and Tel Shiloh. During these visits he was accompanied by the director of the Shomron International Liaison Office, David Ha’Ivri, and by Yossi Dagan of the Shomron Residents Committee.
Clemmons, who was moved by what he had seen, told reporters who accompanied him on the tour, “Many people in the United States have no comprehensive knowledge and they think that Judea and Samaria are not related to the State of Israel and are occupied territory. I admit that I too came here with incorrect stigmas. After a day of touring Samaria I was shocked and moved by what I saw. When I tour here today and see the archeology and the ancient Jewish roots here in Itamar, Tel Shiloh, and Mount Gerizim, I see the roots of the Jewish people on this land and this region. I support Jewish development and construction in this region.”
“I wish President Barack Obama would come with me on a tour of Samaria, and then he’d probably change his mind,” added Clemmons, referring to Obama's questionable policy on Israel, which has resulted in criticism from the Republicans.
Because he was impressed by the biblical and archaeological sites in Samaria, Clemmons told the Shomron Regional Council’s Foreign Relations Department that he plans to work toward bringing hundreds of volunteers from the U.S. to help the archaeological excavations in the region.
The head of the Shomron Regional Council, Gershon Mesika, welcomed the new venture and said, “For the past two years we have hosted dozens of volunteers from abroad during the summer to help harvest the vineyards in Samaria, and we can see clearly how when those volunteers return to their countries after several months of volunteering in Samaria, they become ambassadors of Israel. We look forward to being a bridge of bringing together Judea and Samaria and the entire State of Israel and to hosting hundreds and thousands of volunteers – be it in agriculture or archaeological excavations.”