Mike Huckabee is an ordained Christian minister, newsman, author and musician who served as the 44th governor of Arkansas. He also ran for the office of President of the United States in 2008 and 2016. After dropping out of the race in February 2016, he endorsed Trump with whom, as the US President-elect, he now consults. This week Huckabee was in Israel, representing the US Jewish Chamber of Commerce.
Speaking at Israel's Parliament, the Knesset, on Tuesday, he told legislators it is impossible to understand the modern rebirth of Israel, and its current standing in the world, apart from its faith. Among his remarks to lawmakers, he told them...
"...There is no explanation for Israel apart from God's unique and personal involvement. ...There is no other explanation.
"...There is a God; he has chosen this land for his people; and he has kept his hand on [both].
"...The world doesn't hate you because of where you are, but because of who you are, and because of Whose you are.
"...[It] isn't going to hate you less if you give into their demands.
"...The idea that Israel could somehow make everyone love them by giving into their demands is nonsense because the hate that is expressed toward Israel is not political, it's spiritual.
"...That's why it makes no sense at all for [to give up land] that it lives in, and owns, for the sake of a few.
"...The idea that somehow there should be more surrender of [Israel's] homeland to bring peace has no basis historically, legally, politically, biblically, or indigenously.
"...A two-state solution is what diplomats propose to keep themselves busy rather than facing the reality that trying to split up Yerushalayim is really like asking Solomon to cut the baby in half."
As for UN Security Council Resolution 2334 passed last week, Huckabee said it was an act of "hate and contempt toward Israel." Among other things, Resolution 2334 condemned Israel for failure of peace with Palestinians and reiterated a call for two states in which a divided Jerusalem would become the capital city for each.
Speaking to Israeli journalists, he later said that US behavior in this matter was "embarrassing, shameful." As for the United Nations, he called the institution "a farce, not a force," noting that in the last twelve months it has passed 20 resolutions condemning Israel, but only one each condemning North Korea, Russia, Syria and Iran. The implication that Israel is 20 times more dangerous than each of these, he said, is "absurd."
Anticipating the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States in two weeks, Huckabee predicted that Israel and the US are going to enter into a new, different, and "dramatically more positive relationship." It will be unlike the Obama administration's relationship with Israel which has been "hostile; unnecessarily and irrationally hostile."
One reporter asked if, in Huckabee's opinion, the US should be "more involved or less involved in the Middle East."
"If more involved means that we are attentive," he replied, "yes." On the other hand, "if it means we meddle into the internal affairs of any nation, whether it's Israel or anyone else, no. It's not our job to tell a sovereign nation what it should or should not do." If decisions are made that are harmful to the US, he clarified, "then we have every right to intervene."
In this regard, he added, "Iran comes to mind."
As for Iran and the nuclear deal Obama negotiated with the Islamic Republic, Huckabee said it was "unbelievable dangerous;" because, he added, it was "aiding and abetting the largest sponsor of terrorism in the world."
And if Obama moves the US Embassy to Jerusalem, will that provoke violence by Palestinians? "By law," Huckabee replied, speaking of US law, "we should have moved the embassy back in 1995. ...I think Trump will actually do it, and I hope he does; I'm encouraging him to [do so]." Israel's enemies cannot hate the Jewish state any more than they already hate it, he argued. The US should not be held hostage by the enmity of Israel's enemies.
Should the embassy be moved? In short, his answer was, of course it should. "Jerusalem is the capital of Israel," he said. "It's always been the capital for the Jewish people. It has never the capital for anybody other than the Jewish people."
As for the Palestinians, Huckabee said that, before anything happens, they "first need to recognize Israel's right to exist. They need to quit naming streets after terrorists. They need to quit paying salaries to people who kill Jews." And, he added, they need to put Israel on their maps.
HUCKABEE SPEAKING TO LEGISLATORS IN ISRAEL'S PARLIAMENT, THE KNESSET ON TUESDAY, 3 JANUARY 2016