Monday, August 17, 2009

Mike Huckabee bashes America on foreign soil

Glenn Greenwald

Mike Huckabee this week traveled to a foreign country and, speaking on foreign soil, is now bashing America in front of a foreign audience:

Former Arkansas governor and presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee says the US has taken too harsh a stance against Israel on the issue of settlements.

Huckabee said Monday the US should not "be telling Jewish people in Israel where they should and should not live."

Huckabee made the comment Monday while visiting Jewish enclaves in east Jerusalem. Affiliated with the conservative wing of the Republican Party, Huckabee has been touted as a possible candidate in 2012.

According to Haaretz, Huckabee is joined on this trip by "prominent Jewish and Republican activists from the United States" and "is also planning to visit the Jewish section of Hebron, Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, and Ma'aleh Adumim, the largest settlement in the West Bank." One of Huckabee's traveling companions, New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, says the purpose of the foreign trip is "to shine the spotlight on Obama's policy in Jerusalem, which has just been a horror."


Will there be an outcry from any precincts over Huckabee's conduct? Highly doubtful. Rules governing what one can and cannot do with regard to "foreign countries" tend to be waived very quickly when it comes to Israel -- and America's Right. Indeed, Israel-centric former Bush officials such as Elliot Abrams have been continuously attempting to undercut U.S. policy towards the Middle East, publicly justifying Israeli anger towards Obama and explicitly siding with Israel over their own country in a dispute over whether Israel has the "right" to expand West Bank settlements (apparently, Israel possesses this "right" because Elliot Abrams secretly told Israelis that it was OK to take more Palestinian land if they wanted to).

What has been most bizarre about the increased tensions and even hostilities between the U.S. and Israel is that it arises out of the most minimal shift in American policy: merely demanding that Israel comply with a small subset of what virtually the entire world, all U.S. past administrations, and U.N. resolutions all agree are its obligations. And the impetus for the Obama administration's focus on these demands is clear and obvious: Israel's continued settlement growth in land that is not theirs harms U.S. interests in multiple, substantial ways, even as the U.S. pours enormous resources into aiding Israel. Yet large swaths of the American Right side with that foreign country over their own, and in Huckabee's case, even travel to that foreign country in order to oppose American policy.

When "liberals" like Al Gore criticize U.S. foreign policy in Muslim countries, that is an act of virtual treason that spawns intense controversy. When leading members of the American Right do the same in and on behalf of Israel, the silence is deafening. Within that disparity lies many of the explanations for why America's foreign policy in the Middle East has wrought so much destruction......

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