12/11/2012 1:20:00 PM Navajo President Shelly visits Israel to meet with Knesset members, and Agriculture Ministry
JERSUSALEM, Israel- Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly arrived in Israel Saturday. He will spend a week meeting with dignitaries of the Knesset, Israel's legislative body, and the Ministry of Agriculture to emphasize pro-growth strategies for the Navajo Nation.
"We set on this mission to look at how Israel has advanced in growth in some of the same areas we face on the Navajo Nation," said Shelly when he arrived in Tel Aviv. "We came to discuss how we can adapt new technology for the Navajo people."
Shelly will meet with the Christian Allies Caucus of the Israeli Knesset, which includes members from six of 13 political parties in Israel. David Rotem chairs the caucus and also serves as chair of the Knesset Committee for Law and Justice.
"Agriculture is a priority for us as we build a healthier Navajo Nation and opportunities for business development," said Shelly.
The president will visit Shikma, 12,000 acres of farm land in southern Israel, and meet with Meir Yifrach, leader of the vegetable growers union, in an effort to learn more about Israel's agro-business and drip irrigation and fertilization technology known as Fertigation. The president also plans to meet with Yoav Morag, the regional director for Israel's Ministry of Agriculture.
President Shelly arrived in Israel during the eight-day festival of lights, the national holiday of Hanukkah, which began on Friday, commemorating the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
"It is important for us to share who we are as Navajos, and our own struggles as we have endured since the Long Walk," said the president. "Our trip is also about cultural exchange in this part of the world where the Israeli people co-exist with their neighbors."
Pastor Robert Tso from Shiprock and Myron Lizer, who heads Navajo Westerners/True Value stores, coordinated the president's visit to Israel along with several other faith-based organizations. The trip stems from the president's participation in a Navajo-Israel event last December in Farmington that about300 people from around the United States attended.