The First Samaritan Medal for Peace and Humanitarian Achievements was Awarded to Mr. Bashar ElMasri – The great Builder  and Establisher of  Rawabi, the First Palestinian City

A distinguished Samaritan Delegation came on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 to the Rawabi, the first Palestinian City, between Beer Zeit to Ramalla to the ceremony of awarding its builder and establisher Mr. Bashar ElMasri the first Samaritan Medal for Peace and Humanitarian Achievements.

The Priests Abraham b. Phinhas and Yusef b. Tsedaka headed the delegation with dignitaries of the Mount Gerizim Samaritan Community: Menashe b. Tamim Altif, Yusef b. ’Afif Altif and Chefetz b. Marchiv the Marchivi. Also present Yitzhaq Altif the Secretary of Mount Gerizim Community Committee and its member Ben-Yehuda Altif. Also were Yahav Altif, the witer of this report Benyamim and his brother Yefet b. Ratson Tsedaka.

The High Priest ’Abed-El could not come to the ceremony due to fact that he was not feeling well that day.

The visit started with a short tour in a minibus around the new Palestinian City Rawabi. The delegation was very impressed from what they have seen. The city still in its advanced development and will be complete in a couple of years, high condominiums, shopping center, cultural center, an amphitheater for 15,000 guests, schools, kindergartens, gardens, artificial waterfall etc. The city was built with encouragement from the Government of Israel in a form of the letter Q which is the beginning character of the Principality of Qatar who invested a lot of money in building the city. So far the city populated in only 10% of its capacity which will be complete by 40,000 residents eventually.

The polite Guide Mr. Nassar has mentioned many times the initial obstacles in building Rawabi relating it to no other choice under what so called by him ”The Israeli Occupation“. The Samaritans are the last to hear such complaints since they are not involved by his own choice in politics unless if the subject is their own concern and reflects on their own political future. But the guide should put his finger on the fact that Rawabi is the the only new Palestinian city in the Middle East and in the entire world thanks to Israel‘s policy to let the Palestinians develop their own life by their own hands in dignity and self confidence, because Israel considers the building of Rawabi as a positive subject.

At the end of the interesting tour the delegation arrived to the reception hall where the ceremony of awarding the Medal has started. The recipient Mr. ElMasri has welcomed nicely and warmly all members of the delegation. Dozens of local journalists and from abroad, as radio and TV crews had written and photographed all the ceremony. On the stage sited 5 persons, The Priest Abraham b. Phinhas, a representative of the Palestinian Authority; Secretary Yitzhaq Altif, Mr. ElMasri and the writer of this report.

Priest Abraham b. Phinhas has blessed ElMasri with the blessing of the High Priests as it is written in Numbers, 6:22-27. Mr. Elmasri looked so happy with this special gesture.

Secretary Altif read the document of the rights and qualities of ElMasri to be awarded with the Medal. Mr. Elmasri is the nephew of another great builder Mr. Munib ElMasri a recipient of the Samaritan Medal and great builder like him. In his youth Mr. Bashar Elmasri as a Nablus born studied with young Samaritans. His family moved to America where he specialized in construction of big cities. Then he returned home to help his own people.

The Representative of the Palestinian Authority remarked prominently the better relations between the Palestinian Government and the Samaritans. Then Benyamim Tsedaka awarded the Medal to Mr. ElMasri utilizing the short moments to explain to Elmasri and the Palestinian noble guests as well as the many persons of the press the special status of the Israelite Samaritans as a bridge of peace between the Palestinians and Israel. The writer said how important is making peace in this region to future of his own people, the Israelite Samaritans. Benyamim remarked specially the remarkable contribution of Bashar ElMasri to achieve peace in the region by giving the wide opportunity to many thousands of Palestinian employees to have their own residence and good jobs to live their life from now on in respect and dignity, which in total serves the idea of honoring Mr. Bashar ElMasri with the Samaritan Medal of Peace and Humanitarian Achievements.

Benyamim said to ElMasri that playing the roll of being a bridge of peace between the two entities caused a big respect by both entities towards the Israelite Samaritans, since the Samaritans give the same respect to Israel and the the Palestinian Authority. Benyamim asked ElMasri to continue with his blessed work to the benefit of his own people.

Mr. Elmasri paid his own gratitude to the Board of the Samaritan Medal Foundation. He said that he is very excited by the idea. He told the audiences about his long friendship with some of the Samaritans on Mount Gerizim. In a couple of months he will head a delegation of the City of Rawabi to Mount Gerizim to check closely some projects of development on the Mountain.

Then all the dignified guests were invited to a special and tasty fish and salads lunch where Elmasri chatted quietly and widely with his Samaritan friends. He laughed loudly when the writer told him that he is so good in welcoming guests as the Samaritans do themselves.

Benyamim Tsedaka