Biblical Israel

Via Jon Chait, leading Christian Zionist leader Mike Huckabee explains his vision for Middle East peace—no peace:

Potential 2012 U.S. presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said Tuesday that if Palestinians want an independent state, they should seek it from Arabs — not Israel.

The evangelical minister and Fox News host said Jews should be allowed to settle anywhere throughout the biblical Land of Israel — an area that includes the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

He called the demand on Israel to give up land for peace an “unrealistic, unworkable and unreachable goal.”

A couple of points. One is that while Chait is right that “not even the Likud government opposes a Palestinian state in principle” I think it’s pretty clear that Netanyahu/Lieberman coalition does in fact oppose the creation of such a state. Its statements to the contrary are largely a matter of diplomacy based on what it thinks is a sustainable posture in an international context. But as we move more and more toward post-Jewish Zionism in the United States (and, its natural counterpart, post-Zionism among mainstream American Jews), I think the Israeli right will find that its ideas have a welcome home on the American right.

The other point I would make is about the actual boundaries of biblical Israel:

Here’s a slightly different stab at the question, again locating substantial swathes of present-day Jordan and Lebanon within the boundaries of Biblical Israel. You’d have to be a crazy person to try to base a 21st century state on these 3,000 year-old maps. But that, it seems, is exactly what Huckabee thinks should happen.