Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is in Israel this week and he has a lot to say to the world regarding the appalling international treatment of Israel. Huckabee, who is visiting Israel for the 41st time, gave a press conference at the Jerusalem Bible Lands Museum. His trip to Israel, along with almost 300 Christian American pilgrims, is a sign of solidarity between Christian American’s and Israel.
Huckabee, who is a well known Christian figure, was appalled at how the international media libels Israel in regards to religious freedom. “Tell me how many places in Saudi Arabia, how many places in Qatar, how many places in Kuwait, how many places in Syria can I go and build a church?” Huckabee asked.
“How many places can I go and even express that I’m a Christian? Nowhere. Not one place [in the Middle East],” Huckabee stated.
Huckabee blasted the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, referring to it as “embarrassingly stupid because Israel represents the one place [in the Middle East] where freedom exists.”
Supporters of the BDS movement compare Israel to an apartheid state. With annual Israel Apartheid Week approaching across college campuses around the world, Huckabee was not afraid to call out those who view Israel as an apartheid regime. “I think a lot of it is a sense of anti-Semitism,” he said.
To illustrate his point and prove that Israel is not in fact an apartheid state, Huckabee said: “How else can one understand this? I know this: As a Christian, if I’m injured in this country, I’ll be welcomed at Hadassah Medical Center to be treated. If an Arab is injured, he will be taken to Hadassah to be treated. And if a Jew is injured, he will be taken to Hadassah to be treated.”
“Will we be treated any differently? No. We will have exactly the same medical treatment,” Huckabee exclaimed.
The former governor went on to praise actress Scarlett Johansson for not giving in to international pressure to boycott Israel. Johansson made headlines when she resigned from Oxfam who was pressuring her to drop her association with SodaStream, an Israeli company.
“Much to her credit, she showed she has more sense than 99.9 percent of the people sitting in the UN today,” he said. “She has showed she has far more scholarship and understanding of the issues than most of the people serving in the foreign service and diplomatic core.”
Oxfam, which Huckabbe claimed is a proven sponsor of terrorism for 30 years, should issue an apology to Johansson. “If anything, Oxfam owes Scarlett Johansson a big apology for ever trying to embarrass her,” Huckabee stated. “And the whole world owes her big thanks for having the courage and the intelligence to stand against that nonsense.”
Instead of vilifying Israel, Huckabee argued that the world should open its eyes and see Israel for what it is – a country with a democratic government and army that protects the religious freedoms of its citizens in a totalitarian ocean that is the Middle East.
“Boycotting Israel is the most ridiculously stupid thing you can do. What we need to be doing is celebrating what Israel represents. And I say that not as an Israeli, not as a Jew – I say it as a human being who can see [the situation] for what it is.”
In regards to peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Huckabee was not confident peace would be reached during the current round of negotiations due to the PA’s lack of concessions.
“I don’t think [peace talks] are going anywhere at all. And why would they? Nothing has been asked of the Palestinians – nothing. Not one thing. And until there is some understanding that there must be recognition by the Palestinians of the Jewish state’s right to exist, I’m not sure what there is to discuss or negotiate.”
The international community has increased its onslaught of pressure towards Israel to redact recognition as a red-line parameter to peace. Huckabee expressed his shock over the situation.
“It’s very difficult to negotiate with some who doesn’t believe you have a right to exist,” he said. “And as long as the textbooks for the children of the Palestinians celebrate the death of Jews, I’m not sure why anyone…with common sense would talk about peace if one of the parties has no intention of a peaceful resolution.”
Overall, Huckabee has had a positive experience visiting Israel this time around. A staunch supporter of the Jewish state, Huckabee wants the world to know what a precious commodity Israel has become for the Mid-East region.
“This is my 41st trip to Israel, and I hope one of the things that always occurs is that the people I bring here with me go back with a vivid, powerful and deep-within understanding of the power and preciousness of freedom, and how close we all are to losing it,” he said.
“So, part of my goal and mission in coming to Israel repeatedly is that I want people to come away as ambassadors for Israel – a place where there is freedom, where there is democracy.”