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Aug. 25 2009 - 4:33 am | 76 views | 2 recommendations | 2 comments

Mike Huckabee: Jewish Americans don’t love Israel like evangelicals do

Former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee, speak...

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Dear Mike Huckabee,

I’m glad you enjoyed your time in Israel. I’m writing this blog post from a charming cafe in Tel Aviv. Last night I went to a street party where I drank beers and listened to Greek wedding bands until 12am. Today I’m off to see the Dead Sea Scrolls and have dinner at a Kurdish-Jewish restaurant. Israel is a fantastic country with wonderful people, good food and amazing beaches.

But, man, please stop making us Americans look bad when you come to Israel.

Like, when you give the CBN an interview and tell them Evangelicals are more supportive of Israel than, y’know, Jewish Americans:

“One of the things I find most interesting is that generally Evangelicals are so much more supportive of Israel than the American Jewish community,” Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister, said.

His words help explain the large role debates over Israel and Jewish politics played in the general election campaign, as Israel is a focus for a large piece of the electorate and, at times, a proxy for broader security questions.

“There’s great division within the American Jewish Community about the level of support for Israel,” he went on. “I think they all support Israel, want to see it succeed. But you’ll find people all over the board about whether they think ii ought to have … absolute control over its border and whether they should give up land for peace and just how many countries can oversee Jerusalem at one time.”

“I don’t find that kind of dichotomy generally within the Evangelical community,” Huckabee said. “It’s pretty adamant: There ought to be one city. It ought to be a Jewish state. And it ought to be secure. So maybe one of the hard things is to convince some of our Jewish friends that Evangelicals are the best friends they’ve got — because I think generally, that’s the case.”

Or that time you said that Israel should view the existence of the Dome of the Rock as an “affront.”

Not to mention the fact that you oppose the existence of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, something even Israel’s current right-wing government supports:

The U.S. has taken too harsh a stance against Israel on the issue of settlements, hindering peace negotiations, former Arkansas governor and presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee said during a visit to Israel on Monday.

Huckabee, a Southern Baptist preacher popular among the Republican Party’s social conservatives, has been touted as a possible Republican candidate in 2012.

His three-day trip, focusing on visits to settlements and meetings with settler leaders, puts him in direct opposition to President Barack Obama and positions him even to the right of Israel’s own hawkish prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Oh, I forgot. You claim that Israel isn’t occupying the West Bank and Gaza Strip… and is, in fact, helping the Palestinians by being there:

When asked about the “occupation,” Mike Huckabee responded brilliantly. He described Israel’s government as one of “accommodation, not occupation.” He spoke about Israel’s efforts to bring all types of services to the Arab communities such as schools, infra-structure development, hospitals, and welfare payments.

We get it – in your hopes for an eventual violent apocalypse in Israel, you love the Holy Land… more than those Jewish Americans who would dare to see the grandkids of their Israeli cousins living in peace with their Palestinian neighbors. Got it.

Mike, man, drink a Budweiser (or, better yet, an Israeli Goldstar) and relax. If the End of Days is likely to happen in our lifetime, it probably won’t be trigged by the Middle East.


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  1. collapse expand

    Neal, one of my friends loved this piece, just texted me, in a reference to the right-wing Israelis’ purported smear that Axelrod and Emanuel are self-hating Jews:

    “Truly, Mike Huckabee is a self-hating Christian.”

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    About Me

    A New York-based journalist and blogger who has spent extensive time in the Middle East and is currently working on an MA thesis in Middle Eastern Studies. My thesis focuses on the 2009 Iranian election demonstrations and their coverage in the international media.

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    Contributor Since: July 2009
    Location:New York NY