FARMINGTON — Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly is visiting Israel this week to learn about a culture that he finds surprisingly similar to his own.
Shelly and his wife, First Lady Martha Shelly, arrived Saturday amidst celebrations of Hanukkah, an eight-day Jewish holiday. His arrival also coincided with the exchange of embattled words between Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, who vowed to never recognize Israel on Saturday.
Shelly plans to stay out of the political fight, instead concentrating on Israel’s agricultural and infrastructure strategies. Shelly intends to visit a number of the country’s top leaders in agriculture, including members of the Ministry of Agriculture and dignitaries of the Knesset, Israel’s legislative body. He also will visit Shikma, a farm in southern Israel, where he will meet with the head of the Israeli Vegetable Growers Association.
“Agriculture is a priority for us as we build a healthier Navajo Nation and opportunities for business development,” Shelly said.
— This article appeared on page C2 of the Albuquerque Journal