Mike Huckabee, denied reports on Friday that president-elect, Donald Trump, had asked him to serve as the US Ambassador to Israel, dashing hopes that a US Embassy in Jerusalem might suddenly appear.
Media buzz that I was named Amb to Israel is NOT true. Was never discussed with PE Trump; slot probably not picked until State Dept in place
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) November 18, 2016
Huckabee was responding to a report in Britain’s Daily Mail, which cited a presidential transition official as the source for the faulty report. The official said that Huckabee’s first job as ambassador would be to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. “That’s going to happen,” the transition official said to the Daily Mail Friday morning. “Governor Huckabee is going to see it through.”
The Daily Mail also reported that Israel’s ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, had met with several ambassadorial candidates on Thursday and offered Trump his advice for the post.
Huckabee, a Christian minister and former governor of Arkansas, campaigned unsuccessfully against Trump in the Republican primaries. He is a strong supporter of Israel, having visited the country several times, and even leads guided tours to the country. He was quoted in the NY Sun in 2007 as saying that, “the Jews have a God-given right to reclaim land given to their ancestors and taken away from them.” He is a strong supporter of Jewish settlements in Judah and Samaria. He supports a two-state solution, but believes a Palestinian State should be created outside of Israel, naming Egypt and Saudi Arabia as possible alternatives.
He generated a storm of criticism during his campaign when he stated in a Washington Post interview that, “there is no such thing as Palestinians”.
“The idea that they have a long history, dating back hundreds or thousands of years, is not true,” he told the Post.
This echoes what he said in an interview published in the New Yorker during his unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign.
“I have to be careful saying this, because people get really upset — there’s really no such thing as a Palestinian,” Huckabee told a Massachusetts rabbi . “That’s been a political tool to try to force land away from Israel.”
A Huckabee appointment would put to rest concerns that Trump is backpedaling on his campaign promise to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.