West Bank is Israel's 'heart,' actor Jon Voight says

Yossi Dagan spoke with Voight about the strategic and biblical importance of Judea and Samaria, which he said should become part of Israel's sovereign territory.

 Actor Jon Voight is seen visiting the West Bank, on February 16, 2022. (photo credit: SAMARIA REGIONAL COUNCIL)
Actor Jon Voight is seen visiting the West Bank, on February 16, 2022.
(photo credit: SAMARIA REGIONAL COUNCIL)

Judea and Samaria should not be called the West Bank as it is the “heart of Israel,” American actor Jon Voight said during a visit to Mount Gerizim on Wednesday during work on a film.

Voight, 83, met with Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, who gifted him a bottle of wine.

“This is not just a bottle of wine, it is [fulfilling] the prophecy of Jeremiah,” said Dagan, who spoke with Voight about the strategic and biblical importance of Judea and Samaria, which he said should become part of Israel’s sovereign territory.

Voight was impressed by the map that Dagan unfurled for him.

“This is Israel!” Voight said emphatically as he looked at Judea and Samaria on the map. “It’s right in the center,” showing “Judea and Samaria, how prominent they are in Israel, how important they are. When you call that the West Bank, it doesn’t make any sense. It’s the heart of Israel.”

 Actor Jon Voight is seen receiving a bottle of wine from Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, on February 16, 2022. (credit: SAMARIA REGIONAL COUNCIL) Actor Jon Voight is seen receiving a bottle of wine from Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, on February 16, 2022. (credit: SAMARIA REGIONAL COUNCIL)

Voight also visited the archaeological part of Shiloh, where the Tabernacle was housed before the first Jewish Temple was built in Jerusalem.

“This is one of the holier sites,” Voight told Binyamin Regional Council spokeswoman Eliana Passentin. “I feel so much energy here. It is just amazing that you can pick up a shard in your backyard that is 3,000 to 5,000 years old.”

Voight said he was imagining the ancient ceremonies of worship that had taken place there.

Voight is the father of US actress Angelina Jolie, whose daughter is named Shiloh.

“I explained to him that Shiloh means tranquility and a resting place,” Passentin said. “It represents prayer and unity.”

Passentin said she wanted to invite Shiloh to visit the biblical site for which she was named, and that “it was an honor to host Voight at our site.”