Members of the US Congress and Senate, together with official representatives of the State of New York, toured Samaria during a visit to Israel.
Among the members of the delegation are Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, Nassau County Judge Sigal Blakeman, RNC Committeeman Joe Cairo, United States Congressman Anthony D’Esposito, Nassau County Comptroller Elaine Philips, Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joe Saladino, NY State Senator Patricia Canzoneri Fitzpatrick, NY State Assemblyman Jake Blumencranz, NYPD Inspector (ret) Alison Esposito, Oyster Bay Communications Director Brian Nevin, Senior Advisor to the County Executive Michael Fragin, Commissioner of the Nassau Bridge Authority Sam Nahmias, Former Mayor of Lawrence Martin Oliner, Commissioner Shalom Maidenbaum, Iris Maidenbaum, Eric Sternberg, and Mehran Hakimian.
During the tour, the Congress members visited the "balcony of the country" lookout point in Peduel, viewing the area where the "Green Line" passes and the cities in central Israel. They also heard about Israel's security needs and the importance of the Jewish settlements in the area.
The delegation also visited a factory where Jewish and Arab workers work side-by-side, and stopped at an ice cream parlor in the city of Ariel. Ending their tour, the delegation stopped for a meal and wine-tasting at the Tura Winery in the town of Rehelim.
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan said, "Samaria will continue to fight in every place against BDS, in order to educate about the State of Israel. We have a deep commitment to this topic. The war against the lies spread about the settlements in Judea and Samaria in particular, and the State of Israel in general, must cease."
'This is another step on the path towards beating the lies of the BDS. We thank Bruce Blakeman, our dear friend and the head of Nassau County in New York, who brought about this visit and has helped us greatly. He also passed a law in his county against the Ben & Jerrys company, which called to boycott Judea and Samaria."
Blakeman emphasized that, "Samaria is an Israeli success story, and I call on everyone to come here. Whoever has not yet visited the area must see the area and its security importance up close. Samaria must continue to build as much as possible, and the US needs to support that."
Congressmember Anthony D’Esposito slammed the Biden administration's moves to pressure Israel to reduce construction in Jewish settlements: "Biden's policy to demand a cessation of building in settlements is flawed. I think that what we see here is a weak administration. Joe Biden is weak in his foreign policy, Biden's advisers in the field of foreign policy hold anti-Israel opinions, and we need to deal with this situation by inviting administration officials to visit here, so that they can see how much things have changed in the past few years."
"I call on the members of the Senate to come to Samaria in order to understand what exactly we are talking about. The best way to understand the history and the present of this place is to visit it. I will bring the picture which I saw and became familiar with here, to the US, and I hope that this will help us advance a different policy than what the administration practices today."
NY State Senator Patricia Canzoneri Fitzpatrick noted that due to US pressure, there have sometimes been delays in construction school buildings in Samaria, and there are some children who learn in caravans for many years.
"I am a mother of four children and I would not be willing to suffer what the children in Judea and Samaria's settlements suffer," she said. "Learning takes place in horrible temporary structures. Every child deserves proper education. I oppose the policy which refuses to allow Israel to build, and we will continue and raise awareness of this issue."
RNC Committeeman Joe Cairo concluded: "People must come here in order to understand the reality. It's important to preserve this area as it is today, and not pass it to other hands. Every child deserves a proper education, proper schools and preschools, and the children in the Judea and Samaria settlements are no different than any other child in the world when it comes to this."