Settlers to Trump: Thousands more homes needed

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee spoke in favor of the settlements from behind a podium with a red and white sign which read, “Build Israel Great Again.”

August 2, 2018 00:23
1 minute read.

HOUSES IN the Jewish community of Efrat. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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US President Donald Trump’s support is key to building more settlement homes that are needed, said Yesha Council head Hananel Durani Wednesday in a plea to former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.

“We see now that under the Trump administration the atmosphere is changing,” Durani said during a bricklaying ceremony in Efrat with Trump ally Huckabee as part of an effort to reach the White House.

The Yesha Council and Huckabee celebrated the construction of 900 new homes, 600 of which are in the final stages of building.

Durani recalled how far the communities in Judea and Samaria have come since the Obama administration’s condemnation of West Bank settlement expansion. Since the start of the Trump administration, the president’s stance on settlement building has remained unclear.

Durani called on Huckabee to push the administration for further development in existing settlements in the region.

“Unfortunately there are still restrictions and we have not been allowed to build thousands of residential units,” he said.

Huckabee spoke in favor of the settlements from behind a podium with a red and white sign which read, “Build Israel Great Again,” playing on the Trump administration slogan of “Make America Great Again.”

Huckabee, a staunch supporter of Israel, previously ran for the Republican presidential nomination and has close ties to the Trump administration. His daughter, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is press secretary for the White House.

“If President Trump could be here today, he would be a very happy man, happy because he is a builder and he loves to see construction sites. He loves to see things that are being built. That is his life,” said Huckabee. “What is being built here is really a bridge to peace. For those who might think that is not possible, it is what we are seeing with our own eyes.”

He also spoke in favor of lifting expansion limitations on what he called “Israeli communities.”

Oded Revivi, head of Efrat Council, told Huckabee, “The truth of these communities is that they are safe thriving places to build homes and raise children.” The majority of the region’s population was largely dedicated to living in co-existence, added Revivi, who also serves as the Yesha Council foreign envoy.

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