The Town of Hempstead kicked its support for Israel up a few notches this week when it proclaimed the Region of Shomron a “sister municipality.”
Shomron, in the hills of northern Samaria, is under constant threat from hostile Palestinians and pressure from world governments which oppose the setlement of Jews in Judea and Samaria.
“We stay because we believe in G-d and day after day we build our homeland,” Shomron Regional Council Chair Yossi Dagan told a gathering of Long Island political leaders, rabbis and representatives of local Jewish schools outside Rock Hall in Lawrence on Monday.
Town of Hempstead Councilman Bruce Blakeman recounted that he knew nothing of the region when he first visited the Shomron at the urging of his wife, a native Israeli, three years ago. “They are truly on the front lines,” he said.
Supervisor Anthony Santino said the Hempstead-Shomron partnership would open a “free exchange of ideas” and encourage business, academic, athletic and cultural relationships. The Town of Hempstead’s action follows its enactment of legislation earlier this year that bars the issuance of government contracts to companes that support the anti-Israel Boycott Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Following its lead in the fight against BDS, Nassau County and Gov. Andrew Cuomo took similar action.
Blakeman said Shomron industry employs Arabs at five times the salary many could earn elsewhere. “BDS would materially affect them,” he said.