Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) paid a visit to Samaria late last week, where she met residents and public figures and discussed the revolutionary effect that tours of the region have made on politicians and public opinion leaders.
"It changed the positions of outright leftists to be in favor of settlement, thanks to smart trips combining the beauty of Samaria, produce of Samaria and the good things in the area together with ideology," said Hotovely.
The deputy minister said the trips first of all provide a chance to get to know the land, noting, "most of the debates take place between Tel Aviv and the Army Radio studio in Yafo or Neve Ilan. It doesn't happen here at all."
An election for the post of Samaria Regional Council head is currently underway, and weighing in on the matter, Hotovely gave high praise to Yossi Dagan who currently is serving as acting head of the Council and is running in the elections.
"Samaria needs people who can bring real achievements on the ground together with true concern for the welfare of the residents," said Hotovely.
"Samaria needs the incredible experience that Yossi brings with him from all ranks of the political system. The ability to realize ideology in reality is the motivating leadership force that Yossi Dagan brings."
Hotovely's backing of Dagan comes on the heels of a long row of senior politicians who have likewise thrown their weight behind him, including Likud ministers Gilad Erdan, Yisrael Katz, Miri Regev, Ze'ev Elkin and Yariv Levin, as well as MKs Haim Katz (Likud), Motti Yogev (Jewish Home), Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, former minister Gideon Sa'ar (Likud), and former MKs Elyakim Haetzni and Aryeh Eldad, as well as Ariel Mayor Eli Shaviro.