Huckabee's Israel Dog Whistle

by Michael Sean Winters

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I actually like Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and presidential candidate. But, the last thing we need in the current crisis in Egypt is a prominent American politician running to Israel and viewing the turmoil in Egypt solely through the lens of its effects on Israel.
Huckabee also took a moment to say something truly dumb about the settlements, arguing that any Israeli should be able to live wherever they want within Israel, as if there was no issue about borders awaiting resolution. I was reminded of something one of my most thoughtful and well informed Jewish friends once said when his son was born: "My boy can grow up to be whatever he wants, except a West Bank settler."
But, Huckabee is an evangelical Christian and they tend to view Israeli politics through a very particular lens, specifically, Genesis 12:3, "I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curseth thee." Huckabee believes that nation's are judged based on how they interact with Israel. I believe that the Jews are the Chosen People too. And I believe that Israel is America's best ally, sharing our values and almost all of our security and strategic interests. But, that does not mean its settlement policy is beyond criticism nor that such criticism threatens to bring on the judgment of God.
Mr. Huckabee is allowed to appeal to the opinions of his base, but it is reckless to endanger American foreign policy in the process.

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