Dave Reichert, the U.S. Representative for Washington's 8th congressional district, was in Israel on Monday for a meeting with leaders of the Shomron (Samaria) Regional Council.
The meeting with Reichert 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.
This initiative has become all the more important as peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority were renewed several weeks ago.
During his visit to Israel, Reichert met with Shomron Regional Council head Gershon Mesika, his deputy Yossi Dagan and with Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (Likud).
Danon told his guest: "Just as the State of Israel is a line of defense to the United States, so are the communities in Judea and Samaria a defense line to the State of Israel."
Mesika gave Reichert a review of the communities in Judea and Samaria and noted, "Hundreds of thousands people reside in Judea and Samaria, and Samaria is the heart of the country. This is not the West Bank, but Judea and Samaria. This is our homeland.”
Following the meeting, Reichert said, “We have just had an excellent meeting, discussing the peace process and also the safety and security of the people of Israel.”
“We really want to show the support that we have for the people of Israel,” he added, noting that he will present a personal statement upon his return to the United States.