In interview, US Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee addresses Israel’s right to exist, Judea and Samaria, Iran and the peace process
US Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee arrived in Israel for a short visit, meeting with Israeli officials and giving a interview in Jerusalem in which he voiced support for continued Jewish settlement growth in Judea and Samaria (West Bank).
Huckabee stated that he does not agree that the West Bank is occupied and that Israel must do what is must in order to secure its borders. He stated that “”Jews have a stronger connection to Shiloh than Americans do to Manhattan” and that he feels “it is the right thing to stand with Israel in making sure that they have the right to secure their homeland with safe and defensible borders…. I’m not sure why the international community would continue to expect Israel not to secure a safe and secure homeland for its people and to provide security. I cannot imagine that any American who comes here would somehow feel that the Israelis are out of line in wanting to put a safer barrier between them and their sworn enemies.”
He stated that giving up land for peace is not a resolution stating, “Land for peace has not worked for Israel. They lose the land and they lose the peace” in reference to Israel’s withdraw from the Gaza Strip in 2006.
When asked about the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, Huckabee stated that he would “would love to see a true peace in the world, but the question is does Israel have a right to build bedrooms for the expanding number of people who are coming here, who are making aliyah [immigrating], to make sure there people have a secure land they can defend; I don’t know why anyone on this earth would think that they should surrender that right.” He added that in order for their to be peace, “one of the sides acknowledging Israel’s right to exist” is necessary.
On the recent Iran deal made with world powers, Huckabee voiced support for Prime Minister Netanyahu, addressing criticism that Netanyahu has been interfering in American politics. He stated that “the Prime Minister of Israel is not endorsing any candidate, but I don’t hesitate in endorsing his actions in protecting Israel, I support his bold actions…. The US and Israel have vowed to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. This is a terrorist state, and we are empowering and enriching them through this deal, by unfreezing $150 billion in assets which they will use to buy conventional weapons… Israel has the power to make that decision they don’t need my assistance or approval to pursue whatever makes them safe.”