JERUSALEM (JTA) — A group of American Jews arrived in Israel on a mission to promote home purchases in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.
The 46 members of the three-day mission, which began Monday, were scheduled to meet with realtors.
"We need to make it clear that a Jewish presence in these areas is a part of our heritage and is something that cannot be negotiated," said Dov Hikind, a Democratic assemblyman from New York state and the leader of the mission. "We believe Jews all over the world should be seriously considering home purchases in these places rather than in Florida, the Bahamas or elsewhere. This is an issue of truly putting our money and our investments in line with what our hearts dictate."
The group was scheduled to travel to various settlements throughout the West Bank to learn why they are considered important for Israel’s continued security.
The mission is scheduled to conclude Wednesday afternoon with a cornerstone-laying ceremony for a new housing project in the Nof Tzion neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem that is adjacent to the Arab neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber.