Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is in Israel, visiting those brave Israeli settlers who, like our own pioneer ancestors, are moving in on other people’s land and kicking them out by any means necessary.
What he says doesn’t actually make sense, which is either a canny move to lend plausible deniability, or just the typical failure to think which has become all the rage among conservative Americans.
In his affable way, he insists that he isn’t against a Palestinian state — he just wants it somewhere else. “The question is,” he said, “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 assessed as virtually unrealistic.”
“Virtually unrealistic”? Any guesses what that means? I think he started out to say “virtually impossible,” then caught himself, afraid he might be going too far, and bobbled it to “virtually unrealistic.”
Actually, Mr Huckabee, I don’t think the question is “should the Palestinians have a place to call their own?” Nice one, you almost put it past me.
He went on to praise Israel for allowing Muslims to visit Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock, which is a holy site for Islam as well as for Judaism. But should a mosque be allowed? Nope. It would be an “affront.” “Israel is a place where they’re going to allow other cultures and religions,” he explained, “but don’t ask the Jewish people whose homeland it is to completely yield over their ability to live within the context of their country.”
What a weird world. By the way, Mike Huckabee earned himself a spot on my Fanaticism page with this doozy of a quote: “I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that’s what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view.”
Amjad Atallah responds in the Huffington Post. Excerpts:
Both my parents immigrated to Indiana from the Palestinian town of Ramallah in the early 1960s, before Israel’s occupation in 1967. Like many Palestinians in the Diaspora, they would have been happy with a secular democratic state in the entirety of historic Palestine/Eretz Israel with equal rights for both Jews and Arabs. But also like many Palestinians, convinced that Israelis would never agree to granting equality to all Palestinians, they have supported attempts to create a rump Palestinian state in the parts of Palestine occupied by Israel in 1967 where Palestinians could exercise their right to self-determination.
Having been uncomfortable with the idea of immigrants from Europe displacing the native inhabitants of Palestine, Palestinians have never seriously entertained the idea that they should go somewhere else and displace another people to create a “Palestinian” state. But now that a prominent American politician is making the offer, I have some ideas on a locale.
I haven’t yet conducted a poll of Palestinians on the Huckabee-Solution, but it seems that California – at least everything from San Francisco and south would be most preferred, no offense to Huckabee’s home state of Arkansas. The landscape is very similar to historic Palestine with various Mediterranean climates, lots of orange and fig trees, beautiful vistas, and lots of ocean front property. California even has its own fault lines, just like Israel/Palestine which makes for good wrath of God sermons. It wouldn’t matter if you were originally from Haifa, Ramallah, or the Gaza Strip, there would be something to remind you of home.
UPDATE: found this Huckabee-in-Israel quote in another article:
“I have not bashed America! I haven’t even bashed Obama’s anti-Israel and promise breaking policy, and I have certainly had the opportunity,” he continued. “I have expressed my view consistently wherever I am and don’t say different things depending on who I am talking to.”
Greenwald directed readers to a story in the Jerusalem Post quoting Huckabee as saying: “It concerns me when there are some in the United States who would want to tell Israel that it cannot allow people to live in their own country, wherever they want.”
Mr Huckabee, it’s not that Israel desperately wants to allow people to live in their own country wherever they want, it’s that Israel wants to prevent people from living in their own country wherever they want.