“If I were president of the United States, I would move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” vowed former Governor Mike Huckabee, a leading Republican party presidential candidate, during his 15th visit to Israel Tuesday.
Huckabee, who is an ordained Baptist minister, also declared that Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War in 1967 was “a miracle.”
The promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem has been made by virtually every presidential candidate in the past two decades, but no one has carried out that pledge. U.S. President Barack Obama was a rare exception in his 2008 campaign, but he declared that Jerusalem is Israel's united and eternal capital. He quickly backtracked after severe criticism from the Arab world.
Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War in 1967 was a miracle and all of the land restored to the Jewish state at that time should be developed by Jews, Huckabee added.
“Why should Israel give away land to those who do not even accept Israel’s right to exist?”, he asked rhetorically. “Contrary to the roots of the people of Israel, every issue concerning Palestinian identity is a new invention considering that until recently Jordan was their homeland.”
The former governor is leading the polls in the West Virginia and North Carolina Republican primaries and has a two-point lead nationally over Sarah Palin, but he has said he will wait until this summer before announcing whether or not he will run for the party’s presidential nomination.
He visit is part of his strategy to promote his knowledge of foreign affairs, a subject that has been a negative factor for President Obama, whose Middle East advisors have seen one country after another in the region turn against the United States.