The Middle East Research Center (MERCL), the sister think tank of CIPAC (Christians’ Israel Public Action Campaign), spent its first full day of its Israel study tour in Ariel, the capital of Samaria, on Oct. 13, 2013. The timing of the delegation commemorated 40 years since the Yom Kippur War and 20 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords, and lessons learned from Israel’s efforts to negotiate peace were the focal point.
After lunch at the Ariel city center, the delegation received an apt overview of the city by Executive Director, Avi Zimmerman, at the Ariel Regional Center for the Performing Arts. They got a firsthand look at an on-the-ground peace process
taking place in Samaria at the Barkan Industrial Park where Israeli factories provide thousands of Palestinians with livelihood, creating harmonious relations between Jews and Arabs through productive work.
A meeting with Ariel University Chancellor, Yigal Cohen-Orgad, highlighted the potential for joint-development of essential defense technologies between Ariel University and American researchers should international bodies, including the State Department, lift the ban on educational funding towards Israeli entities beyond the Green Line.
We are glad that MERCL has the opportunity to study geopolitical issues firsthand so that members of the delegation can influence change in American policy and beyond for the benefit of Israel, the US, and the entire region.
For a video recap, check out the clip by Richard Hellman, below.