25 Nov, 2020

Israel has presented senior officials of the Trump administration a proposal to develop up to twenty-four major Biblical tourism sites in Judea and Samaria. The sites will feature a focus on Evangelical Christian tourism, Likud MK and former Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat is the plan’s architect, reports TOI.

Nir Barakat (courtesy: screenshot)

The project is being called: “Developing Win-Win Economy in Judea and Samaria”. The idea was originally presented by Barkat to President Trump’s senior adviser (and son-in-law) Jared Kushner during the summer. The presentation reportedly came at the direct request of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

The plan also involves annexing parts of Area C in Judea and Samaria to Israel.

Barakat told the Times of Israel that he was inspired by the archaeological park in Shiloh. The site was the original home of the Tabernacle before the Temple was built and is also where Hannah said her prayer. Tel-Shiloh boasts 60,000 Evangelical Christian tourists per year. In the same interview, Barakat noted that “There are 800 million Evangelicals in the world”.

Barakat added that the plan was originally presented to Kushner prior to the Bahrain Conference on Israeli-Arab economic cooperation back in June.

A page of Nir Barkat’s proposal for “win win economic prosperity” in the West Bank, showing the locations of Biblical tourism sites. (Courtesy Nir Barkat)

The sites to be developed include:

The Valley of Dotan-Where Joseph was sold by his brothers into slavery

Ancient Sebastia Shomron – Once the capital of the Kingdom of Israel

Rav Kabir – The Blessing and Curse of Class

Sarbata – Mount of the Beacons

Ancient Shilo – Original home of the tabernacle

Beit El -The location of Jacob’s dream

Qasar al-Yahud – The part of the Jordan river where the Israelites entered into th eland of Israel

Qumran – the location of the Dead Sea Scrolls

To Ezer – The way of the forefathers

Herodian – The Dead Sea Scrolls – King Herod

Hebron – The Cave of the Patriarchs where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rivkah and Jacob are buried.

Maale Chever- The three angels