Likely Republican hopeful Huckabee: Netanyahu should move ahead with speech plans

“[He] absolutely he should do it. And the reason he should do it has nothing to do with American politics and whatever conflicts there may be.”

February 15, 2015 20:46
2 minute read.
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should “absolutely” move forward with his plans to address Congress in order to garner support to prevent the potential for a nuclear Iran, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee said at a press briefing in Jerusalem on Sunday.

“[He] absolutely he should do it. And the reason he should do it has nothing to do with American politics and whatever conflicts there may be,” he said. “Americans need to know that the Iranian threat is not unique to Israel and the rest of the world. Not only the [Iranian] potential to launch a direct strike, but the potential of increasing the nuclear demand throughout the other countries in the Middle East.”

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According to Huckabee, waiting for the P5+1 – the US, Russia, China, UK, France and Germany – talks to play out in the hopes of reaching a diplomatic solution is problematic because Iran is not a trustworthy actor.

“The issue is, do we believe the Iranians are trustworthy,” he said. “Anyone who believes that has to deny the reality of history since 1979... they have to believe that the funding of Hezbollah, the funding of Hamas and terrorist groups that murdered a bunch of innocent people were just an aberration of policy. I don’t see how anybody can look at the history of Iran, the rhetoric of Iran and say, ‘Sure, we can sit down and reason with these people.’” Comparing the regime to a snake that must be combated at all costs, he said, “When you’re dealing with a snake, you’re dealing with an entity with which you cannot reason.

It doesn’t really matter why the snake wants to bite you. You can’t pet the snake. You can’t feed it. You don’t try to make friends with it. You don’t invite it into your home. You kill the snake, because the snake will bite you if it has the chance.”

Dismissing critics who have accused Netanyahu of exploiting the bond between the US and Israel in order to deliver a speech that will have little effect, Huckabee compared the potential speech to other historic addresses delivered by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan.

“Did FDR’s speech after Pearl Harbor matter? You bet it did. Did Churchill’s speech to the Brits matter? You bet it mattered. Did Ronald Reagan’s speech saying, ‘Mr. [Mikhail] Gorbachev, tear down this wall,’ matter? You bet it did. The prime minister is very capable of not just making a good speech, but making an important case as to why the threat of a nuclear Iran is an immediate danger.”

He relegated the tension between Jerusalem to Washington to the two leaders, and maintained that deep-rooted anti-Israel sentiment simply does not exist within Congress and the American public.

The likely 2016 Republican presidential candidate, who is hosting a delegation of Christian pilgrims in order to boost tourism in Jerusalem and uphold US-Israeli ties, didn’t formally announce his candidacy, merely saying he’s in the “direction of running.”

As for a formal meeting with Netanyahu, the former Baptist minister and Fox News host told reporters at the capital’s Inbal Hotel that while he doesn’t have an official meeting on the books, he predicts that he will “most likely” visit with the prime minister during his visit.

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