Israel Resource Review 21st August, 2008


Huckabee: US Must Understand Toll Of Terrorism On Israeli City
David Bedein

Jerusalem - Former U.S. presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, the ex -governor of Arkansas, offered The Bulletin his insights on Tuesday while visiting the southern Israeli town of Sderot.

During his three-day visit to Israel, Mr. Huckabee viewed the town's police station, where he saw a display of missiles fired on the town from Gaza.

Visibly shaken, the governor stopped to speak to reporters. "There is nothing normal about waking up everyday and having to worry about your children getting hurt in a rocket attack," he said. "No bandage or medicine can cure the suffering of the children of Sderot."

Mr. Huckabee was then escorted to the home of the Tourgeman family that had been devastated by a missile attack, where he was shown pieces of an exploded missile and the large hole where the rocket had smashed into the house.

I asked Mr. Huckabee, "How could you impress upon the American people the consequences of the Israeli withdrawals, when this is the result - terrorists using areas under their control to fire missiles?"

Mr. Huckabee's response was that "not everyone can come here and see it for themselves. Americans don't get it. They do not understand the close proximity. How would we feel if Canadians started launching missiles at Buffalo? Would they say that we should vacate Buffalo and then scoot back into New York?"

Mr. Huckabee then discussed how to make this point with Sen. McCain. When Mr. McCain emerged from a bombed-out home in Sderot back in March, I had asked him the same question, to which McCain responded that Israel should continue with the peace process negotiations, and he stated to speak about the "moderate" Palestinian leadership.

Mr. Huckabee's response was that "I will have a talk with Sen. McCain about this. I can't tell you that this is why but I believe that there is an unwillingness to upset the energy supply and the ripple effect of that which I said two years ago - for which I was laughed at - that America must become energy independent within 10 years - not only for economic reasons, but also for security reasons.

After lunch with Sderot residents at a Yeshiva seminary, the ex-governor climbed to the rooftop of the seminary and gazed for a moment at the areas from Gaza where more than 8,000 missiles have been from Gaza into the Jewish communities of the Western Negev region over the past seven years. His comment: "Both Christians and Jews share a culture of life. They share a culture of death and destruction.

"We don't have a frame of reference for the spirit of radical Islam," the visiting American politician said. "That's why having tea with our enemies won't work. The language doesn't work. It's like trying to hook a Mac up to a PC."

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