HOUSES IN the Jewish community of Efrat.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, whose daughter, Sarah Sanders, is the White House press secretary, plans to symbolically participate in the construction of a home in the West Bank settlement of Efrat, located just outside of Jerusalem.
Former White House director of communications Anthony Scaramucci, who was traveling with him, had planned to attend the event as well, but will have already returned to New York.
The vocal supporters of US President Donald Trump are in Israel on a trip sponsored by Joseph Frager of the National Council of Young Israel.
They visited the Samaria region of the West Bank on Monday and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron on Tuesday.
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan said Huckabee and Scaramucci were part of a group of people with influence in Washington, Dagan said.
He wanted to underscore for them the importance of the settlements both to Israel and the United States.
Huckabee and Scaramucci are on a tour of Judea and Samaria, as the region awaits Trump’s peace plan.
In response to a question, Scaramucci said he did not believe that the Trump administration would pressure Israel to freeze settler building or to uproot settlements.
“I do not think that is on the table anymore,” Scaramucci said.
Trump’s administration is not like that of his predecessor Barack Obama, which allowed the UN Security Council to pass a resolution condemning settlement activity in its final weeks, Scaramucci said.
“At the end of the day we have common-sense leadership that has returned to Washington,” said Scaramucci, who worked in the White House for only 11 days in 2017 before Trump fired him.
Israel and the United States stand together as democracies, he said.
On Wednesday Huckabee and Scaramucci will symbolically help build a home in Efrat, where construction workers are completing some 600 homes. Another 300 are in the middle of construction work.
Israel considers Efrat to be part of the Gush Etzion bloc and it has long been presumed that the settlement would be part of any final status agreement with the Palestinians.
The Palestinians, however, believe that Efrat – like all settlements – must be evacuated.
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