Mike Huckabee at Knesset.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The United States must declare that the kidnapping of three teenagers in Gush Etzion will not be tolerated and work to bring them home, former Arkansas governor and TV and radio personality Mike Huckabee said in the Knesset Monday.
The kidnapping is “nothing less than an act of anti-Semitic, rabid hatred,” he said.
In light of the fact that one of the boys, Naftali Fraenkel, is a US citizen, Huckabee said the US “must speak out boldly and clearly, and say this is unacceptable. Whoever took this young man must understand there will be no lack of response if anything untoward happens to him.”
In order to help in the search, the US should share intelligence with Israel, he added, and once the boys are found, the kidnappers “should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law – if there’s anything left of them to bring to justice” and “will have hell to pay.”
“I think most of the American people agree with that,” the former governor posited.
“Could anyone on this earth justify the kidnapping of those three boys? Can anyone celebrate that?” he asked. “If they can, those are people made of a different cloth than me.”
Huckabee sported a “Bring Our Boys Home” pin a day after visiting the Fraenkel family, to attend a meeting of the Knesset Caucus Against Delegitimization, led by MK Nissim Ze’ev and cosponsored by Zionist education NGO Im Tirzu (If You Will It).
“Some acts are irrational – how else can we describe the BDS movement? Israel is a democracy that gives equal rights to women... We are in a place where people control the government instead of the government controlling the people, and that is a threat to many governments. Israel proves that even in the Middle East it’s possible for people to have freedom of religion, expression and disagreement,” Huckabee said.
“If someone needs to divest from that, then we’re in a crazy world,” he said.
According to Huckabee, “the truth is the best friend Israel has” in fighting BDS.
He mentioned Sodastream, the home soda machine company, which faces boycotts for having a factory in the West Bank, and actress Scarlett Johansson, who appeared in their commercials and was dropped by NGO Oxfam as a celebrity spokesperson.
“Scarlett Johansson has more courage than anyone in the US State Department or the White House,” Huckabee said. “If I’m ever president, maybe you’ll hear or see Secretary of State Scarlett Johansson. She’s more attractive than the last two we had [John Kerry and Hilary Clinton].”
As for rumors that Huckabee will leave his popular and lucrative career as a Fox News host and pundit to run for the Republican nomination for president, he told The Jerusalem Post he will not make any decisions until after this year’s election cycle.
“I have an advantage that I’ve done it before and a disadvantage that I know what I’m getting into,” Huckabee said, referring to his 2008 presidential run, in which he came second, behind Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
During the caucus meeting, MKs had different ideas of how to fight delegitimization.
“The best defense is offense.
We have to explain our basic stances to the world,” Housing and Construction minister Uri Ariel said.
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon called on the many pro-Israel activists from the US in the room to work to convince their government to stop funding the Palestinian government, because it includes Hamas, which the US considers a terrorist organization.
“Your tax money is being used for incitement and to kidnap children,” he said.
MK Moshe Feiglin, however, took issue with Danon’s words, asking: “If Israel is still funding the Palestinians, what do we want from the Americans? Our problem is not America, our problem is [with] ourselves.”
“I believe in God... There is no legitimation for Israel without belief in God,” Feiglin said.