Former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is planning to attend a gala at the controversial Shepherd Hotel in East Jerusalem. The Obama administration has condemned Israeli plans to renovate and construct housing on the site of the hotel, which is located in a Palestinian neighborhood:
Huckabee will be joined at the hotel dinner by over a hundred guests, including prominent Jewish and Republican activists from the United States.
Huckabee is also planning to visit the Jewish section of Hebron, Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, and Ma'aleh Adumim, the largest settlement in the West Bank.
Huckabee's trip is sponsored by Ateret Cohanim, an organization that runs a religious-Zionist Yeshiva in East Jerusalem, and works to encourage Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem.
The Christian conservative Huckabee has been nicknamed "Huckabee the Maccabbee" for his strong support of settlements and an undivided Jerusalem. Gershom Gorenberg recently provided some background on the Shepherd controversy in the American Prospect. And M.J. Rosenberg wrote about the Netanyahu government's courting of U.S. evangelical support on ForeignPolicy.com last month.
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