On a visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories this week, former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee supported Israel’s right to build settlements on Palestinian land. He also stated his opposition to a two-state solution, saying that there is no room for a Palestinian state “in the middle of the Jewish homeland”:
Speaking to a small group of foreign reporters in Jerusalem, Huckabee, seen as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2012, said the international community should consider establishing a Palestinian state some place else.
“The question is should the Palestinians have a place to call their own? Yes, I have no problem with that. Should it be in the middle of the Jewish homeland? That’s what I think has to be honestly assessed as virtually unrealistic.”
This isn’t the first time Huckabee has come out against a two-state solution and endorsed the idea of Palestinian population transfer. In August 2008, Huckabee said, “The two-state solution is no solution, but will cause only problems,” insisting that “the Palestinians can create their homeland in many other places in the Middle East, outside Israel.” Ironically, the Jerusalem Post reported that Huckabee “did not want to impose his views on the situation or to Americanize it.”
Huckabee’s current visit is being sponsored by the American Friends of Ateret Cohanim, a non-profit organization “that sends millions of shekels worth of donations to Israel every year for clearly political purposes, such as buying Arab properties in East Jerusalem.” Israel’s Haaretz reported that the group “is registered in the United States as an organization that funds educational institutes in Israel,” but that its financing of settlements in East Jerusalem would “seem to violate the organization’s tax-exempt status.”
Yesterday, Huckabee attended a reception at the Shepherd Hotel in East Jerusalem, which “became the focus of American-Israeli tensions last month.” The Obama administration has objected to Israeli plans for construction of a new Jewish settlement at the hotel, which is “located in the heart of a Palestinian neighborhood.”
Read CAP’s report on the Window of Opportunity for a Two-State Solution.