The bill was drafted and sponsored by Republican State Representative Mindy McAlindon, who spoke with Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, to explore possible cooperation with Judea and Samaria.
“It is an honor for me to promote one of the first decisions in America that recognizes the importance of Samaria,” she said. “I wanted to address not only the legal status of the settlements in Judea and Samaria, which is self-evident, but to focus on our special connection with Judea and Samaria that so many citizens of Arkansas recognize from the Bible.
“The decision was an expression of how many residents of Arkansas feel towards Israel and especially towards the biblical regions throughout Judea and Samaria. Arkansas is a friend of Israel, we have a governor who is a friend of Israel, and I look forward to seeing how this decision promotes more meaningful cooperation.”
The text of HR 1086 notes that Arkansas and Israel “have enjoyed cordial and mutual beneficial relations since 1948, a friendship that continues to strengthen with each passing year.”
“The State of Arkansas, which lies in America’s heartland, has a special kinship with Judea and Samaria, Israel’s biblical heartland,” the text goes on.
“Cities across Arkansas bear the names of biblical cities throughout Judea and Samaria, such as Bethel, Hebron, Shiloh, Salem, and numerous others.
“In the words of former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, supporting the State of Israel is “a fundamental part of American culture, history, and of the ties that we have between Judaism and Christianity” and is “a friendship that helps keep America safe.”
The bill also notes that in 2022, then-Gov. Hutchinson joined Chief Scientist signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority Dr. Ami Appelbaum, and Consul General of Israel to the Southwest Livia Link-Raviv to ensure the “promotion and cooperation in technological innovation, research, and development among businesses, corporations, research universities, and other entities “within their respective borders.”
Israel has been a “cornerstone of America’s defense against the spread of totalitarian movements and military dictatorship into the Mediterranean and the Middle East for years,” the bill states.
Both Israel and Arkansas have benefited from defense cooperation, the text adds, specifically noting the building of Israel’s acclaimed Iron Dome aerial defense system in addition to the myriad other ways in which the relationship has brought benefits to both sides.
“I commend my friend Mindy McAlindon and the House of Representatives in Arkansas for the important and courageous decision to recognize Judea and Samaria and to support partnerships in various fields in Judea and Samaria,” Dagan said in a statement. “Together, we will counter the demonization against the settlements in Judea and Samaria.”
“There is a deep brotherhood between our two nations, stemming from our shared values of faith in the Bible, freedom, democracy, and security. I believe that we can change the perception of Israel and Judea and Samaria through proper, explanatory, and diplomatic activities.”
“I invite public officials in the United States to visit Samaria and see with their own eyes our struggle to preserve the land of our forefathers and witness the construction in Samaria for the strengthening of our joint initiatives. I believe that this partnership will benefit both peoples, the United States, and Israel, and contribute to the strengthening of the alliance between us.”
Source - Jewish Press/Twitter - Image - Sraya Diamant/Flash90