The Samaria (Shomron) Regional Council is continuing its “Public Relations War”. A month after a visit by a boycott-busting delegation of wine grape farmers from Samaria to northern Italy, Samaria hosted David Storobin (R), New York State Senator, who toured the region together with the head of the Samaria Regional Council, Gershon Mesika, his advisor and director of the Council’s Strategy Unit Yossi Dagan, and the director of the Shomron Liaison Office, David Ha’ivri.
The precedent-setting tour joins the tour by Alan Clemmons, member of the South Carolina Senate, as well as the historic visit by five members of the U.S. Congress which took place in Samaria last year – for the first time in the history of settlement in Judea and Samaria.
Storobin, working in cooperation with the Liaison Office of the Samaria Regional Council and who is running with the Republican party for an additional term of office, toured all over Samaria during the day and visited local communities, industrial zones and agricultural enterprises, as well as security vantage points and archaeological and Jewish heritage sites.
During the visit, the guest traveled the Trans-Samaria highway, visited Rechelim, took in the view from Mt. Gerizim of the “narrow waistline” of the State of Israel, and looked out over Shechem and Joseph’s Tomb.
The Senator was amazed to hear from Mesika that the entire width between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is only 70 kilometers, Samaria spreads over 55 kilometers of it, and the “Green Line” is 15 kilometers wide in the area containing the mountain ranges of Samaria and Binyamin.
During the visit to Rechelim, Storobin conferred with Council head Mesika and his staff in a thorough discussion and strategic survey of the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria.
“From here, one can see and be impressed by the significance of the Land of Israel to the Jewish people,” said Mesika. “The flourishing settlements that we see today in Samaria are the realization of the prophecy by all the prophets that the Jewish people will return from the exile and revive the sacred soil of their country. This is a Divine historic process, and it is moving forward. Everyone must decide whether he is on the right side of it, or not. We are proud to host in Samaria, a leader who knows what the correct side is and who acts for the State of Israel and settlement in the Land of Israel.”
Referring to the political situation, Mesika said, “Today you have seen the flourishing industrial zone in Barkan. In settlements throughout Judea and Samaria there are thousands of Arabs employed in a decent and dignified manner. Just in the Barkan industrial zone alone, approximately 6,000 are employed – about half of them Jews and the other half, Arabs. Whoever truly wants to live in peace and tranquility, and not just with political slogans, should strengthen the settlement movement in Judea and Samaria, not try to weaken it.”
Senator Storobin did not hide the fact that he was deeply impressed, saying, “I am visiting throughout the Land of Israel. The last time I was in the region was in 1985, the region has grown and there is great change. At that time there were 100,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria, and today there are triple that number. There are large cities, more settlements, universities which have received recognition. It has indeed grown. They say that it’s only outposts with caravans here and there. Look around – and see real homes! No different than the suburbs of New York City, and you can also see similar in New Jersey and Long Island. I think everyone has to come and see for himself that the media knows how to spin things.”