Mike Huckabee says Palestine has no right to exist
by Nathan Empsall, Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 05:03:46 PM EDT
(On an unrelated note, I checked with Jerome today, and will start some regular lite blogging on weekdays. Hence this post.)
I had the chance to meet Mike Huckabee in January 2008. As Republicans go, I'd always been impressed - but from John McCain to Chuck Grassley, Republican stars have a way of losing their shine, and Huckabee is no exception. From Think Progress:
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."
So Huckabee joins Eric Cantor in slamming the American president while on foreign soil - a far cry from the way their party called Dubya's critics unpatriotic. You also have to wonder why Huck ignores history - the middle of the Jewish homeland? Well, yes, it is the Jewish homeland, but the Palestinian people have also been there for centuries upon centuries. It's not just a Jewish homeland, but rather a two-culture homeland.
Matthew Yglesias' headline goes too far: "Huckabee Calls for Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinian Territories." No, he didn't say the people should be removed, just that Israel had a right to be the region's sole government, and that if Palestine has a state, it should be somewhere else. He didn't say the people should be forced to live in that state - that'd be like saying Florida Jews should be deported to Israel. Still, what he did say is pretty bad on its own.
I'd rather see the Republicans nominate Huckabee than I would Palin or Romney, but if Huckabee does emerge as a major 2012 contender, his opponents would be wise to focus on his foreign policy failings. This is not unlike his 2007 slips on Pakistan and Iran.