Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Common Sense for Israel and Palestinian Arabs, Courtesy of Governor Mike Huckabee


While in Israel this past month, Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a potential United States presidential candidate in 2012, spoke to the issue of peace in the Middle East, and a Palestinian State.

Governor Huckabee said, "The question is, should the Palestinians have a place to call their own? Yes, I have no problem with that. Should it be in the middle of the Jewish homeland? That's what I think has to be honestly assessed as virtually unrealistic."

Governor Huckabee may be the highest-profile politician in the United States to understand that the tiny geographic area west of the Jordan River is not large enough to host two independent states, especially when one of the those states is the sole Jewish majority state in the region and the world.

Obviously, the Governor is not looking for a plum assignment from the Obama administration.

Too bad Israel is looking for something for the Obama administration. Too bad Israel is dependent on the United States. Because of this dependency, Prime Minister Netanyahu pays lip service to the establishment of a Palestinian State west of the Jordan River, an Obama requirement, but at the same time espouses terms that could not possible be acceptable to Palestinian Arab leaders.

It is difficult for any politician to be more pro-Israel than the sitting Prime Minister of Israel, and Governor Huckabee is out on a limb. People in the mainstream media point out that he is a Southern Baptist preacher and based on that, deride his view. This is both shameful and ignorant.

Governor Huckabee should be applauded. If more knowledgeable people vocalized their true assessment of the situation, the debate on how to bring peace to the region would change. Rather than trying to figure out how to divide a piece of land too small to divide, world leaders could focus on making Israel truly viable. They could focus on bringing an end to the Palestinian Arab humanitarian crises—a crisis the international community and the Arab/Muslim community have exacerbated for over sixty years.

Supporters of the idea that the world is large enough to house one independently viable Jewish majority state must encourage politicians besides governor Huckabee to take a stand for Israel—not just a stand that offers vague support for Israel’s right to exist, but rather a real stand for an independently viable Israel. This stand, not coincidentally, will further Palestinian Arab dignity and prosperity, and peace.

Failure to encourage more political leaders to take a real stand for Israel will mean the currently proposed international solution—two states west of the River Jordan—will not change. Sooner or later, Israel will be forced to cede land needed to independently survive and thrive in the Middle East. And Palestinian Arabs will continue to be treated as second class Arabs by their Arab brethren.

There is plenty of room in the Middle-East for everyone. Governor Huckabee recognizes this and publicly says so. Most politicians won’t say so because saying so is out of favor.

I, for one, thank Governor Huckabee for his common sense. I thank him for not being cowardly. And I thank him for putting the welfare of people above political expediency.

--David Naggar