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County solidifies friendship agreement with Israel

Posted on 08/06/2019
County solidifies friendship agreement with Israel

A relationship that began with an act of kindness during the 2013 flood was strengthened today as the Weld County Board of Commissioners reaffirmed a Declaration of Friendship with Israel; specifically, with the Samaria region and Shomron Regional Council, which represents Samaria along the country’s northern West Bank.

“This partnership fosters goodwill between communities and opens up dialogue between Weld County and Israel that can be used as a pathway for both entities to assist each other in times of need,” Commissioner Sean Conway said. “This relationship may also open up trade opportunities for Weld County businesses which can strengthen both Israel and our county.”

This friendship was originally formed during the Weld County flood in 2013. Weld County resident Michael Gale — who has visited Israel 13 times — was contacted by friends in Samaria and asked if Weld County was in need of supplies or aid. This touching gesture of international aid resonated strongly with the commissioners and began a unique international friendship. Since that initial contact, both Samaria and Weld County have discovered they share many similarities with regard to climate, energy production, agricultural production, water conservation and conservative values.

In May, the commissioners signed a Declaration of Friendship with Samaria, Israel, that expressed the desire to develop a positive relationship between governments, businesses and communities that will assist in the prosperity of each region. Gale then delivered the signed declaration to Yossi Dagan, Chair of the Shomron Regional Council on his next trip to Israel where he, along with 25 other Weld County residents, were guests of the Shomron Regional Council. Dagan gave a speech and signed the declaration, which Gale has returned to the commissioners. There has been no cost to Weld County residents for this friendship or for Gale’s trip to deliver the declaration to Dagan on behalf of the board.

“This friendship is mutually beneficial,” Conway said. “Hopefully, this is the beginning of a long-range relationship that leads to visits to Weld County by citizens from Israel who want to learn more about our county and in turn visits to Israel from Weld County residents.”

​Photo description: Yossi Dagan, Chair of the Shomron Regional Council, preparing to sign the Declaration of Friendship.