Five members of US Congress come to the Occupied Palestinian Territories for an in-depth, one-sided tour of the illegal Jewish settlements in "Judea and Samaria"; Ariel Mayor Ron Nahman calls the structural violence that makes Palestinian workers dependent on settlements for employment "real coexistence."
Israeli and American flags (photo: flickr/Jacob Miner)
Five US Congressional Representatives recently conducted a “precedent-setting and historic visit” to Israeli West Bank settlements, according to the settler-affiliated media outlet Arutz 7. The five Republican members of Congress conducted the “in-depth tour” in cooperation with the Ariel Development Fund and the Strategic Unit of the Samarian Regional Council.
The all-male delegation included Randy Forbes (Virginia), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Doug Lamborn (Colorado), John Fleming (Louisiana) and Jim Jordan (Ohio). Representative Lamborn is particularly influential as chairperson of both the Republican Israel Caucus and the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus.
During the tour the congressional representatives visited the Cross Samaria Road, the Barkan Industrial Zone, the settlement of Ariel, and participated in a formal reception in the Nablus-area settlement of Har Bracha.
Ariel Mayor Ron Nahman spoke to the high-level visitors about “real coexistence”, referring to the 4,000 Palestinian workers employed in the Barkan Industrial Zone and in Ariel.
Gershon Mesika, Director of the Samaria Regional local government, requested that the representatives bring more leaders and journalists to visit “Samaria”, noting that “due to distortions in the media, no one knows what is really happening in Samaria."