On December 10, Friends of Ariel was pleased to welcome a Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) Leadership Mission to Ariel for an insiders’ tour of a region which figures into much of the discourse on American-Israel policy. The visit brought to life many of the issues which RJC leadership has explored during Executive Director Avi Zimmerman’s various speaking engagements at RJC chapters throughout the US.
The group of a dozen delegates received an overview of Ariel’s history and strategic importance at the Ariel Regional Center for Performing Arts. At the Center, they deepened their understanding of the nature and impact of boycotts of cultural and educational institutes beyond the Green Line. On the balcony overlooking the neighboring Arab town of Salfit, they got a glimpse into the Arab-Israeli coexistence that existed in the region prior to the signing of the Oslo Accords and outbreak of the second intifada.
Feathers were ruffled at a factory in the Ariel Industrial Park which manufactures top quality bedding for Israeli markets. At the plant, they learned the process of making down pillows and blankets, from the time the feathers arrive up to the moment they are cleaned and sifted for quality control. The Ariel Industrial Park is a feather in the cap of Ariel’s efforts to improve the quality of life of all residents of the region, Jew and Arab alike. The delegation learned how employers at the Ariel Industrial Park give merit-based wages to both Israeli and Palestinian employees and how industry here creates prosperity and better living conditions for all.
Mayor Eliyahu Shaviro greeted the group over lunch at Café Café, located at the Lowell Milken Family Sports & Recreation Complex, giving them insight into his recent campaign and his vision for a city that continues to thrive.
We look forward to meeting with more RJC members, both in Ariel and in the United States.