New Bedford Mayor Back From Trip To Israel

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By Michael P. Norton
State House News Service

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell visited Israel last week as chairman of a group assembled by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

The delegation spent four days in Israel meeting with municipal leaders, academics, business leaders, and experts from both Israel and Palestine, the mayor’s office said Friday. Mitchell’s office said the group “also held discussions with released hostages and their families, and others coordinating humanitarian aid in the region.”

“Although this is the USCM’s fourth mayoral delegation to Israel, the issues in the region today are more relevant than ever to Americans,” Mitchell said in a written statement Friday, April 12. “The current conflict is widening the political fault lines in our country, and I believe that it is important for mayors, as the leaders of their cities, to take opportunities like this to deepen their understanding of a situation that, as everyone can agree, is complicated and difficult.”

Site visits included Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, and Sderot, an Israeli city near Gaza that was attacked by Hamas on October 7, 2023.

The trip was sponsored and funded by a joint program between the the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange, which facilitates exchanges between Israeli, Palestinian, European, and American officials. Mayor Daniel Rickman of Columbia, South Carolina and Mayor Travis Stovall of Gresham, Oregon were also on the trip.

“Based on security considerations, the USCM requested that members of the delegation refrain from announcing the trip beforehand or releasing details of the itinerary prior to return,” Mitchell’s office said in a press release. Mitchell was back at City Hall in New Bedford on Friday, April 12, according to his office.

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