Sunday, November 11, 2018

Foreign diplomats tour leading Samaria industrial ‎park - Efrat Forsher

by Efrat Forsher

Ten deputy ambassadors, ‎several U.N. officials visit Barkan ‎Industrial Park in Samaria, hailed as ‎prominent example of Israeli-Palestinian ‎coexistence

The deputy envoys in Barkan Industrial Park in Samaria, Friday
Photo: Roee Khadi

Ten deputy ambassadors from around the world and ‎several senior U.N. officials visited Barkan ‎Industrial Park in Samaria Friday, as part of a ‎joint program seeking to showcase the park as a ‎prominent example of successful Israeli-Palestinian ‎economic cooperation.‎

The program is the brainchild of the Shomron ‎Regional Council's Foreign Relations Department, together ‎with the Judea and Samaria Chamber of Commerce.

The ‎tour took place as part of the council's public ‎diplomacy efforts, which are backed by the Strategic ‎Affairs Ministry.‎

The ministry is tasked with spearheading Israel's ‎efforts to counter the boycott, ‎divestment and sanctions movement. ‎

The U.N. delegation met with Shomron Regional ‎Council‎ head‎ Yossi Dagan, who briefed the ‎dignitaries on the area's adamant struggle to ‎counter the attempts to boycott and delegitimize ‎businesses in Judea and Samaria.‎

The delegation also visited the Alon Group facility ‎in the park, which was the scene of a gruesome ‎terrorist attack last month. ‎

‎"As we have built coalitions in the U.S. Congress ‎and the European Parliament, we continue to work to ‎create coalitions to support Judea and Samaria at ‎the U.N. as well," Dagan said. ‎

‎"I have no doubt that anyone who visits us and sees ‎and understands reality as it is. Today, we met with ‎senior U.N. officials who said they were happy to ‎learn about the daily reality in Samaria, as they ‎knew little about it before [the visit]. We will ‎continue to act to influence opinion leaders from ‎around the world."‎

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan noted that ‎‎"BDS activities against Judea and Samaria ‎are just a cover story for their activists' real objective – ‎boycotting the entire State of Israel and ‎eliminating it as a Jewish state. This is why it is ‎so important to us to counter these boycott attempts ‎and show the world the Israeli-Palestinian ‎coexistence in Judea and Samaria."‎

The latter, he said, "thrives thanks to economic ‎investments in the area and it is important we ‎protect them."‎

Judea and Samaria Chamber of Commerce President Avi ‎Zimmerman said, "Time and again, international ‎leaders visiting Judea and Samaria discover that ‎this is a region full of opportunity, cooperation ‎and vision. Our distinguished guests today ‎identified with the view that Judea and Samaria is a ‎hub of opportunities for economic growth that ‎benefits all populations. ‎

‎"We will be in touch with their embassies to explore ‎expanding [mutual] markets and expanding Judea and ‎Samaria's international network of the chambers of ‎commerce and industry," he said.‎

Efrat Forsher


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