A month and a half after the historic visit by a delegation from Israel to the European Parliament advocating Jewish community growth in Judea and Samaria, the Samaria Regional Council returned the favor, hosting a delegation of MPs from the European Parliament. During the special visit, which took place due to the efforts of Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin, Samaria Regional Council head Gershon Mesika and his deputy, Yossi Dagan, had an opportunity to meet privately with the MPs.
During the visit, Mesika and Council members presented the Israeli and Jewish religious, political, and historical connection to Samaria. They also discussed the anti-Israel activities that so called human rights group undertake in order to incite Arabs to riot. Many of these groups, Mesika pointed out, receive money from the EU.
After the meeting, Susy de Martini, a European Parliament MP and member of the Parliament's budgeting committee, said that “the EU should not be funding these anti-Israel groups and activities. From what I understand, the EU recently made a decision to freeze money being sent to the Palestinians because we found that some of that money was being used to fund terror.
“I believe that the EU needs to be friendlier to Israel and to those who are interested in real peace in the region,” de Martini added. “Economic stability is as important as political stability. I am a friend of Israel and I hope the relationship between Israel and the EU improves.”
The historic conference that led to the current meeting took place last September. The conference was organized by the Deputy Chairman of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Dr. Fiorello Provera of Italy, who became a supporter of the Jewish communities after touring Samaria (Shomron), and by senior MP Bastiaan Belder of Holland, who has also become a friend of Samaria in recent years. The Israeli delegation included Samaria (Shomron) Regional Council Head Gershon Mesika, Acting Council Head Yossi Dagan, and the Director of Shomron Foreign Department, Shay Atias. MK Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) was also a part of the delegation.
The conference was organized by the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the Samaria Regional Council, which has been working with the EU for the past 20 months and which assembled the rare coalition of 20 MPs. The Samaria Regional Council has hosted more than 70 MEPs for tours of Samaria in the past 18 months, as well as 100 foreign journalists.