(March 20, 2019 / IsraelUnwired) As Israel continues to roil from more terror attacks with murdered Jews, and braces itself for the UNHRC list of international businesses that do business in Judea and Samaria to blacklist, a Jewish settlement leader and Palestinian Arab leader joined forces to talk in Congress about economic cooperation and fighting the anti-Israel BDS movement.
The two-state solution has proven itself to be an unrealistic solution that just enables the continuation of the conflict and terror, yet the world still does not consider any other resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
A key reason for its failure is the absence of any Palestinian-Arab leadership serious about making peace.
To fill this void and provide an alternative plan for Washington to support, these two leaders introduced to Congress a new paradigm based on economic cooperation that would help Jews and Arabs live together, regardless of the absence of any serious Palestinian-Arab leadership interested in peace.
Shomron Regional Council Mayor Yossi Dagan, a settlement leader considered one of the most conservative voices of the Jewish communities, made a surprise trip to Washington, D.C. He traveled together with Sheikh Nasr Abu Khalil Al-Tamimi, a Palestinian Arab. Together, they visited Congress for a marathon week of meetings and events to share the vision of economic peace and coexistence—particularly in the industrial zones of Judea and Samaria, areas targeted for boycott by BDS and left-wing organizations.
In a number of meetings, the joint delegation presented paradigms for economic cooperation that can be developed further between Jewish and Arab residents of the area. The first event was with the bipartisan Texan Members of Congress, and the second with more than 50 members of the Republican Study Club.
The United Nations plans to release its blacklisted companies who do business with Jews in Judea and Samaria.
Meanwhile, Dagan and his team joined with Sheikh Tamimi in two consecutive events on Capitol Hill, meeting with more than 70 members of Congress.
“BDS is the new antisemitism,” Dagan said. “We are here to present the true face of the Shomron. Together with local Arab leaders, we work for real coexistence and a better future for all those who live in the region, to debunk the lies of the boycott movement. Sheikh Abu-Khalil is a brave leader, part of a growing movement among the Arabs of Judea and Samaria, who want to build a better future for their families.”
Dagan also mentioned Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs, Gilad Erdan, and the decisive actions that are taken by his ministry to fight the BDS movement and to promote peaceful coexistence as vital and important for the struggle against the delegitimization campaign. “The actions that the Ministry is taking are creating a big difference and managing to sabotage both the anti-Israeli organizations’ funding and efforts to delegitimize Israel,” Dagan said. “Minister Erdan is a true friend of Judea and Samaria”.
Sheikh Tamimi explained that he participated in the group’s trip to Washington, “to give hope to two nations. We represent the position that there are two populations destined by Allah to live together. We believe in the joint need to create a better future for Jews and Muslims in Judea and in Samaria.
“It takes hard work to bridge the gaps between us. The current political climate makes it difficult to achieve a political solution. It will take time. We have to overcome politics on both the Israeli and Arab side to bring about a better future for both sides.”
The trip was coordinated by Ruth Lieberman and Sarah Paley of Yes! Israel, dedicated to strengthening the strategic relationship between the United States and Israel and organized with the assistance of Anachnu Al Hamapa (We are On the Map) NGO. This article originally published on IsraelUnwired.