US Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, 59, said Wednesday during a 48-hour fundraising visit to Israel that he did not consider the West Bank to be occupied by that nation.
According to Huckabee, the West Bank is part of Israel. “I don’t see it as occupied,” Huckabee told journalists at a press conference, “That makes it appear as if someone is illegally taking land. I don’t see it that way.”
“In America, we have about a 400-year relationship to Manhattan. It would be as if I came and said we need to end our occupation of Manhattan. I’m pretty sure most Americans would find that laughable,” various media reports cited Huckabee, ex-governor state of Arkansas, as saying at a press conference held at Jerusalem’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
With regard to the two-state solution, various media outlets reported Huckabee as dismissing that option, saying “the notion of two governments working the same piece of land is unrealistic and unworkable.”
On Tuesday, Huckabee attended a fundraiser for his presidential bid at Shiloh, an illegal Jewish settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory that was sponsored by Simon Falic, an American-Jewish supporter of Republican candidates and right-wing Israeli politicians. The Falic family was the largest contributor to the recent election campaign of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to a Bloomberg report.
According to AFP, Huckabee said he had no qualms about holding the fundraiser at Shiloh in the West Bank, which Israel seized in the 1967 Six-Day War.
More specifically, Bloomberg reported Huckabee as saying he “wasn’t in the least hesitant” to go to Shiloh, describing it as “a place of great connection to the history of the Jewish people.”