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(photo credit: GPO / Amos Ben-Gershom)
The developments in Egypt have “created a very tenuous situation” for the entire world, likely US Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee said in the Knesset on Monday.
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Huckabee, on a private visit to Israel – his 13th time in the country – said in the Knesset’s Immigration and Absorption Committee that “the events of the past few days in Egypt have created a very tenuous situation, not just for Egypt, not just for the Middle East, but for the entire world, and the destabilization of that nation has the potential of cascading across the globe.”
Running neck-and-neck in US polls with Mitt Romney as a front runner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Huckabee arrived in Israel on Sunday. Accompanied by actor Jon Voight, Huckabee met Monday for an hour with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu before touring Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem with members of Ateret Cohanim/Jerusalem Reclamation Project.
Romney visited the country and met Netanyahu earlier this month. Neither man has formally announced his candidacy.
Earlier on Monday, Huckabee visited the Knesset together with Voight, who is known for his outspoken pro-Israel stance. The two attended an Immigration, Absorption and Public Diplomacy Committee hearing on Israel and Diaspora responses to anti- Semitism and delegitimization.
They were greeted by a number of Knesset VIPs, including committee chairman Danny Danon (Likud), Science and Technology Minister Daniel Herschkowitz (Habayit Hayehudi), deputy ministers Danny Ayalon (Israel Beiteinu) and Ayoub Kara (Likud), and Nissim Ze’ev (Shas), chairman of the Knesset Lobby for Israel, Judaism and Global Ethics.
“Any threat to Israel is a very real threat to the United States,” Huckabee said in the Knesset. “And one of the reasons I come here is because I want to be an ambassador in my own country, to help explain that our solidarity with Israel is not merely organizational, but it is organic, and that we cannot afford to allow Israel to be threatened.”
He also spoke out against building freezes in Jewish settlements, arguing “the right of the Jewish people to build in their homeland is unquestionable,” and saying that last year’s 10- month freeze was neither logical nor acceptable.
“Israel is a wonderful country that I love and value very highly,” he said.
“Every threat against Israel is also a threat to American values, and to those who love liberty and freedom throughout the world.”
He dismissed the idea of land-for-peace, describing it as illogical.
Danon used the opportunity to attack US President Barack Obama, arguing that Obama’s vision, as presented in his landmark speech in Cairo last year, “was a failure.”
“Obama’s war against the extremists lead to the collapse of the Hariri government in Lebanon, and the policy of freezing building in Judea and Samaria gave the Palestinians an expectation that if they were offered a finger, they can also take the whole hand,” continued Danon.
“Democracy in Arab states created anarchy in Egypt, and Obama must understand that in the Middle East, one must speak the local language.”
Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, is currently the host of a popular program on the Fox news Channel. An ordained Baptist minister, he will be leading a group of Christian pilgrims on a tour of the country’s holy sites later in the week.