Mike Huckabee visits Joseph's Tomb, bemoans difficulty of access to Jews
The former Arkansas governor and close associate of Trump decries fact Jews have to visit the tomb, under PA control, 'in the dead of night, under armed guard, with the smell of tear gas in the air, burning tires along the route.'
The former Arkansas governor, who ran against Trump in the Republican presidential race but was quick to throw his support behind the president, was accompanied by Samaria Regional Council leader Yossi Dagan.
Some 5,000 people visited the Joseph's Tomb complex, which is under Palestinian Authority control. Huckabee and Dagan were joined by Dagan's deputy Davidi Ben-Zion, Bayit Yehudi MK Bezalel Smotrich, GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Roni Numa, Samaria Division Commander Col. Gilad Amit, and the Israel Police's Judea and Samaria District Commander Moshe Bareket.
"It's an amazing experience to have to come to this type of difficulty just to be able to come to a holy site for Jews and frankly even for Christians, who pay tribute to Joseph," Huckabee said.
"To have to do it in the dead of night, under armed guard, with the smell of tear gas in the air, burning tires along the route, it's a stark reminder (to how different) it is in the heart of Israel, where the Israeli government protects every Muslim that accesses their holy site," he added.
"In Judea and Samaria Jewish people do not have unhindered access to holy sites without having to go to extraordinary lengths in order to be able to access these places for prayer," Huckabee bemoaned.
Dagan, who also met with US Ambassador in Israel David Friedman ahead of his nighttime visit to Joseph's Tomb, said of his guest Huckabee, "We were fortunate tonight to enter Joseph's Tomb with a Zionist man, Israel's friend Mike Huckabee, who can teach many of us about God's love. People from all across the country and all over the world came here to realize their natural right of worship."
"We regret that we have to come here at such a late hour," Dagan went on to say, adding that he wishes the Israeli government acts in a way "that honors the Jewish people and the State of Israel and apply its sovereignty (here)."
"A moment before the US president who is Israel's biggest supporter lands here, it's important we remember to protect our interests, because no one will protect them for us," he continued.