US officials take Samaria tour with left-wing activists

Wednesday, October 06, 2010 |  Ryan Jones

Officials from the US Consulate in Jerusalem were spotted on Tuesday taking a tour of Jewish communities in Samaria (the so-called “West Bank”) with members of the left-wing political lobby group Peace Now, which advocates surrendering the land to the Palestinian Arabs.

David Ha’Irvri, director of the Samaria Liaison Council, told Israel National News that he personally recognized Jonathan Cullen, a political officer at the US Consulate. The Americans were being led by Peace Now activist Hagit Ofran, who regularly takes groups around the area to lecture them on how Jews have no right to live there.

Ha’Ivri indicated that he was frustrated that the Americans would go on a learning tour of Samaria with Peace Now, after his office had done so much to help US officials better understand Jewish life and Jewish-Arab relations in the area. The Samaria Liaison Council is an official government body tasked with liaising between the local Jewish communities and the Israeli and foreign governments.

“We give the United States information they did not know, and we have nothing to hide” he said. “Now they come back with a political group.”

Israel National News said the US Consulate declined to comment when it was asked if its staff would also be taking tours of Samaria with nationalist lobby groups, so as to get a balanced perspective.

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