Mike Huckabee – television host, former Arkansas governor and former Republican presidential primary candidate – landed in Israel Sunday and went directly to visit the Frenkel family, whose son, Naftali, has been abducted by Hamas. He said he had come to show solidarity with the Frenkel family, and noted that Naftali Frenkel is an American citizen.
"I'm here not just as an American but as a father,” he said. “I think every parent in the world feels something at the pit of their stomach with the thought of something like this happening to their own child.”
"Americans need to hear this story,” he said. “This is an American citizen, this is one of us. And even if he wasn't – this should not happen to any young man or to any parent... Whoever is behind this must feel enough pressure to realize that the only decision they have to make is not when they give these boys back but how soon, and as safely as possible.”
When asked by Arutz Sheva about the United States' call, last week, for “restraint on both sides,” Huckabee said – “What's to restrain? What are the Israelis supposed to do? This to me is nonsense. The only restraint at this point is the restraint by whoever has these boys to do nothing to hurt them. G-d help those people if they touch a hair on these boy's heads... I think the Israelis have every right to say – and America should join this message – you touch that boy who's an American citizen and you will have hell to pay for it.That should be the only message we are sending right now.”
“We recognize this is an incredibly sensitive and difficult circumstance on the ground, and we feel all sides should exercise restraint,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki stated at a press conference on Wednesday.