Town creates ‘sister’ relationship with Israeli region

Hempstead officials reaffirm their anti-BDS stance and support for the Jewish state

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In their second show of support for Israel in four months, the Town of Hempstead met with leaders of the Jewish state’s Region of Shomron delegation and signed a Declaration of Cooperation and announced that they are now “sister municipalities” at Rock Hall Museum in Lawrence on Monday.

The declaration commemorates a partnership and promotes the “free exchange of ideas in the areas of culture, technology, education, commerce, industry and tourism,” town officials said.

“As the largest township in the U.S., the Town of Hempstead has the responsibility to be a leader in intergovernmental relations to promote mutually beneficial ideals, goals and dialogue,” Supervisor Anthony Santino said.

The Hempstead Town Board unanimously adopted legislation prohibiting town government from conducting business with companies or individuals that openly boycott against Israel, America and other allies in June in a local effort to combat the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that has been advanced by several anti-Israel groups and governments to apply pressure to other countries not to trade with Israel or buy their products due to what is seen as the Jewish state’s oppression of Palestinians.

An Israeli regional council in the northern West Bank, the Shomron Regional Council provides municipal services for the 35 Jewish towns or Israeli settlements in the Samarian hills covering an area with a population of about 23,600 people.

Chairman of the Shomron Regional Council Yossi Dagan expressed his gratitude the support. “We are building our future of the state of Israel.”

Dagan made a point of saying that the stories recounted in the Bible took place in the Shomron region. He added that both Israel and the U.S. are going through difficult times. “We are strong because we believe in God, we are happy because we build day after day our country in Shomron,” Dagan said.

The Five Towns, which is in the Town of Hempstead, is 5,713 miles from Israel, but has a substantial Jewish population. Benjamin Weinstock, mayor of the Village of Cedarhurst, said it is important to take a stand. “It shows a level of solidarity in connection with the people of Israel … as far away as America we care about them.”