Mike Huckabee Rewrites US-Israel Policy in Visit to West Bank

The 2016 candidate held a controversial fundraiser in a West Bank settlement.

Speaking to reporters at the ritzy Waldorf Astoria residences here in Jerusalem, Huckabee challenged the international community’s frequent use of three words: “West Bank, illegal and occupation.”

“Occupation," he explained to reporters, "suggests someone is taking land illegally from someone else.”

And that’s not how he sees it. Huckabee said he considers all the West Bank part of Israel, which pits him against U.S. foreign policy.

Huckabee, 59, held a fundraiser Tuesday in the West Bank settlement of Shilo, an area international law considers occupied territory. It’s not his first visit to the West Bank, he said, nor will it be his last.

“If you’re going to visit Israel you should visit all of Israel, and that would include Judea and Samaria,” the former Arkansas governor told reporters Tuesday, using the biblical names for the West Bank.

He said today, “I will happily go to Shilo anytime. Shilo used to be the capital of Israel... it was the seat of the tabernacle.”

He suggested Israelis have a stronger historical connection to Shilo, dating back 3,500 years, than Americans do to Manhattan, a claim that only dates back some 400 years.

The Obama administration considers Israeli settlements illegal under international law, and has frequently criticized Netanyahu’s right wing government’s support of the ongoing settlement expansion.

Bedrooms, Huckabee added, never hurt anyone.

As his aides hurried him out of the room today, a reporter asked whether he would be the only president not to support a two-state solution?

"I'm not sure,” he said.

Two different governments operating on the same piece of land is "not workable,” he said, and has never been workable in his opinion.

Huckabee said last month President Obama was “marching the Israelis to the door of the oven,” with the deal, and stood by that controversial comment today when asked.

The deal represents a "clear and present danger" to Israel and the United States, Huckabee said, adding he would "most certainly undo” any deal with Iran if elected president.