If President Obama wants to get a good look at how Jews and Arabs coexist peacefully in Israel, as well as a first-hand lesson on the political realities of the region, he should visit Efrat, the town's mayor, Oded Revivi, wrote in a letter to Obama Thursday. Only ten minutes from Jerusalem, Revivi wrote, Efrat would not at all be out of the way for the President, and since 30% of Efrat residents hail from the U.S., he would easily be able to find someone who speaks his language.
“We were very happy to hear about your planned trip to Israel and know you will receive a warm welcome as a staunch and faithful supporter of Israel who has shown his steadfastness by coming to our aid in the difficult and tense situations that we have found ourselves over the past few years,” Revivi wrote. “I feel a short visit to our community would be very beneficial,” he added.
“You would be able to see from an observation point the close proximity of our neighboring Arab villages to Jerusalem and realize that the declaration of two states for two peoples is not realistic and would only worsen and deteriorate the delicate situation that now exists but for which a workable solution must be found,” Revivi wrote.
Besides this, he said, “our town is an exemplary model for excellent cooperation between Arabs and Jews. Efrat is located close to several Arab villages with which we enjoy close and friendly relations. There is no fence that separates Jews and Arabs in our area and we would be happy to arrange for you to met with Jewish and Arab residents and have them explain to you the day-to-day coexistence that is enjoyed,” Revivi wrote.
“I sincerely hope that you will accept our invitation for a short visit and if you do, we will welcome you with warmth and friendship,” Revivi added.