Huckabee: Israelis should be able to live anywhere in Jewish state
Likely US Republican presidential candidate attends cornerstone-laying ceremony in Jewish neighborhood in east Jerusalem, tells MKs 'I don’t see why bedrooms for their children built by Jews on hilltop in Samaria pose threat to world peace'; calls lack of construction in settlements 'irrational'
Israelis should be able to live "anywhere in Israel they wished to live," Iikely US presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said Monday during a visit to the Mount of Olives for a cornerstone-laying ceremony in a Jewish east Jerusalem neighborhood.
"It is inconceivable in many ways that we would have to even argue and debate whether or not Israelis could live in Israel, not just in parts of Israel but anywhere in Israel they wished to live," said Huckabee, who is expected to run against US President Barack Obama in the 2012 elections on behalf of the Republican Party.
"I cannot imagine as an American being told that I could not live in certain places in America because I was Christian, or because I was white, or because I spoke English. I would be outraged if someone told me that in my country, I would be prohibited and forbidden to live in a part of that country, for any reason," the former governor of Arkansas added.
'I would be outraged.' Huckabee at Beit Orot Yeshiva (Photo: noam Moskowitz)
The construction plan for the new neighborhood, called Beit Orot and located near the Beit Orot Yeshiva, was approved about a month ago.
American Academy Award winning actor Jon Voight and Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz also took part in the ceremony.
Voight said during the ceremony that he is "very proud to be here with all of you who stood for justice and the legacy of the Jewish people."
"When I see you, I think of all the great ones, for so many centuries, who had a dream to pass on the legacy to the next generation," Voight said. "And now you are here, this is your time, and you are doing what you should be doing, which is to prepare the next generations and to be the hope of the world that you are. I love you all."
Later Huckabee visited the site of the Shepherd Hotel in Sheikh Jarrah. The hotel was demolished to make room for another Jewish neighborhood. He told reporters the US should be more concerned about Arabs building bombs than Jews building bedrooms.
Earlier Monday, Huckabee criticized the demand for a settlement construction moratorium in the West Bank.
During a meeting with members of the Knesset's Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, the Republican said the Jewish nation's right to build in its homeland is indisputable.
"I don’t see why bedrooms for their children built by Jews on a hilltop in Samaria pose a threat to world peace," Huckabee told the committee. "It's the lack of construction that is irrational, not the opposite... Those who aim their rifles at Jewish babies are irrational; the danger is not the weapons, but the hatred behind the weapons."
"Why should Israel give any territory to people who don’t recognize its right to exist?" the likely Republican candidate asked.
Huckabee also said the "territories for peace" paradigm was irrational.
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