EU official Provera (right) and Mesika
EU official Provera (right) and Mesika Israel news photo: Samaria Residents Committee

Nationalists scored a diplomatic coup this week a visit to Samaria by an official of the EU, which funds many left-wing pro-Arab groups.

Dr. Fiorello Provera, vice chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee European Parliament, was escorted by Samaria Regional Council chairman Gershon Mesika in the rare visit and first of its kind tour to Jewish communities in Samaria by a high-ranking EU official.

Minister of Information and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein and Shomron (Samaria) Liaison director David Ha’Ivri also accompanied Provera on the trip, which was kept secret beforehand.

The visiting EU official was able to see first-hand the central urban region, often called the “narrow hip” of Israel, and view the strategic importance of Judea and Samaria.

Council spokesmen said that Provera “did not conceal his surprise from the view …and his appreciation for what he saw the visit.”

Provera said, “I arrived in Samaria and observed the security situation for the first time, and this is an important viewpoint,“ he said.  No I understand better the size of the country.”

Mesika told him, “Everything we saw earlier [today], such as the importance of a Jewish presence for the security of the existence of Israel,. is true, but the true reason we are here is that this is our inheritance and birthright. A Jewish presence in Samaria is the achievement of the vision of the Prophets. and it will be fulfilled whether or not people try to stop it.”

He called on the European Union to assist Israel “in this historic process.”

Mesika also discovered that Provera is a Bible, who nodded his head in approval of several comments by the regional chairman.

"Tours of this type are changing peoples’ views  about the reality in Judea and Samaria,” said Minister Edelstein. “There's nothing like a tour in Samaria to understand that some of the stigmas and preconceptions were wrong."

Earleir this week, Provera told a Knesset conference that he is critical for the EU dealing with Israel as a “second-class country, and added that Israel's being judged by a double standard “illustrates the new anti-Semitism, a by-product of Islamic fundamentalism.”