Touring Samaria
Touring SamariaSamaria Residents' Council photo

The Samaria Residents' Council is reaching out to central Israel to warn residents of the dangers they could face in case of a withdrawal from Samaria. On the anniversary of the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, council activists traveled to Petach Tikva, Raanana, Hadera, Netanya, Herziliya and Kfar Saba to remind those living there of the fate suffered by those living near Gaza when Israeli civilians and soldiers were no longer present in the area.

After the Disengagement from Gaza, terrorists in the area increased the scope and frequency of their attacks on Israeli towns nearby. A short time later Hamas was victorious in the PA elections, and in 2007 the terrorist group seized control of Gaza, eventually waging war on all of southern Israel during the Cast Lead battle in early 2009.

The Samaria Residents' Council handed out flyers and set up information booths to spread its message: by saving Samaria, residents of central Israel will be saving themselves as well. The flyers included contact information and an invitation to call to learn more.

Council member Benny Katzover, a longtime Land of Israel activist, said response to the campaign has been positive. “We see a lot of support on the street,” he said. Residents of central Israel have grown to understand that the Jewish towns on the hills of Samaria protect them, he explained.

Many residents of central Israel have been convinced to come see Samaria first hand, Katzover reported. Others have joined in the campaign and taken an active role in fighting to preserve Jewish life in the region.

Those who decided to see Samaria for themselves were taken on the same tour given to ministers, MKs, and journalists who have agreed to visit Samaria in recent months. Among other things, they saw the award-winning Hararei Kedem vineyard in Yitzhar, and learned about the production of goat cheese at a farm in Itamar.

They were also taken to Mitzpeh Shloshet Hayamim, which overlooks the Dead Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee).

The tours given to MKs and journalists have been proven a success. A popular broadcaster who took one of the tours described the experience as an “awareness revolution,” while another participant, a columnist for Maariv newspaper, decided to move to the Samaria town of Nofim.