By Larry Gordon
I LIKE MIKE
Here in Israel and spending two days with Fox TV personality and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee the atmosphere is something of a quasi like presidential campaign. I had, of course, heard Huckabee’s name mentioned as a possible candidate in 2016 but never before as often as I he
ard it this week here in Jerusalem. That is not what most of the meetings we attended were about, but you can rest assured that a Huckabee presidency would be a good thing for Israel and a very good thing for the United States.
The conference here in Israel featured two jam packed days of activities that articulated more about what type of person Mike Huckabee is than what type of candidate he might be someday going forward. Huckabee is a former minister in Arkansas and a man who loves Israel and is an activist when it comes to the matter of the connection between the Jewish people and the land. How being President of the United States and harboring those beliefs in the present America crafted by Barrack Obama is difficult to fathom or reconcile. But that is a matter for the future.
For now anyway Mike Huckabee sounds just a little bit to the right of Benjamin Netanyahu. The conference in the Knesset on Monday organized by Dr. Joe Frager and Odellia Jacobs in cooperation with the Ateret Kohanim organization featured an impressive array of Israel government officials. The theme and the thrust of the comments of most was the ongoing deligitimization of Israel which seems to be the cause celebre at the UN as well as in capitals around the world.
One of the important lessons learned was that Israel is not just something over here and far away from so many other Jewish communities. When the delegitimizers say Israel they really mean Jews and simply stated, that means all of us. Sure they carved out this tidy little political niche for themselves but the consensus amongst those analyzing these movements is that BDS or Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement is just new terminology for unmitigated Jew hatred.
Another item on everyone’s mind and lips here in Israel as well as around the rest of the Jewish world is the matter of the three teenagers kidnapped by Hamas terrorists and now missing for two weeks. On the way in from the airport on Sunday night Huckabee stopped at the Frankel hone near Modiin and sat with 16-year-old Naftali Frankels parents to express American solidarity with their plight as they await the hopefully safe return of their children.
People in the Knesset and those who have or should have some insight into this bizarre kidnapping of three children all seem at a loss at what to say or comment on the matter. On Knesset Member looked at me when I inquired about the matter and just said—you’re a smart man, you can figure it out. I still have not been able to.
What is going on here simultaneously to the search for the missing teens is the smashing and hopefully uprooting of the terrorist Hamas in Judea and Samaria. These are hopefully not cosmetic military operations but rather game changing maneuvers that will have a long lasting impact on the ground here.
One of the speakers on Monday commented that regardless of the fact that Fatah had signed a reconciliation agreement with the terrorist Hamas organization, American aid was still being pumpd into the Palestinian Authority. Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon pointed out that there is a law that passed Congress in 2006 that says that American aid to the PA will cease in the event of such a agreement. Instead the opposite occurred. A few days after the agreement with the terror group was announced Secretary of State Kerry said that the US will in all likelihood work with the new quasi government. MK Moshe Feiglin pointed out that there is no reason to blame the Americans. He said that daily scores of trucks leave Israel for Gaza to stock Hamas banks with cash. Also food supplies are trucked in from Israel and electrical services that no one pays for continues flowing into Gaza as if it was business as usual.
It seems that in the community that brought him to Israel this week as well as many others across the broad spectrum Mike Huckabe is a star. Under the guidance of Daniel Luria of Ateret Kohanim we visited a building renamed Bet Zion by the organization. They recently purchased part of the building for $3 million. The structure is located in the heart of Arab East Jerusalem. There is a Yeshiva located there now in this never ending effort to reassert Jewish sovereignty over our eternal capital city. It is not a simple or easy task. W, however, walk the streets nonchalantly passing Arab men, women and children each of us minding our own business and just going about our endeavors of daily life. This part of Jerusalem is no doubt a hotbed of resentment and animosity toward Jews. There may even be occasional incidents attesting to that fact, but just not today. It was a hot and sunny day and all seemed well, for now anyway.
Governor Huckabee also held meetings with both of Israel’s Chief Rabbi’s. He was warmly received by both Rabbi Dovid Lau and Rabbi Yitzchok Yosef. Rabbi Lau spoke with Mr. Huckabee about his gesture of going to visit one of the kidnapped victims family. The Rabbi said that he believed that worldwide communal prayer is providing the families with great strength in a time of crisis.
Huckabee is seen by many here on his Fox TV news program and people comment about it wherever we go. The former Governor has all the features and ingredients that makeup an ideal Presidential candidate. He was a Governor, has a TV persona and is the right age—58-years to make the run.
To grasp how pro Israel Mile Huckabee is one would have to grasp how cool Barrack Obama is to Israel and then imagine the opposite. That is who Mike Huckabee is and there is a sense—albeit a longshot at this early date—that he may be the anti-Obama if such a thing exists and once again ready for a run at the presidency.
More than anything else it seems that what Mr. Huckabee brings to the table is a sincerity and refreshing honesty. Granted it may take some time to adjust to not just that way of thinking but to the realization that honesty and openness are not dead, that is brutally murdered by the White House, Congress and a good part of an intellectually dishonest media.
Does Mike Huckabee have the fire to indulge in what it takes to realize this combination of a dream and a vision? In Jerusalem this week it seems that the answer to that question that yes, this man certainly does.