Richard Silverstein on Israeli Settler MK Nissim Zeev and Mike Huckabee
Mike Huckabee and Israel’s radical settler movement are almost always fodder for a good laugh. I thank Ofer Neiman for providing one in the form of an Arutz Sheva article, in which settler MK Nissim Zeev brags about his friendship with Mike Huckabee, who he brought to Israel and hosted last week. Among the other things Huckabee did was tour and nod approvingly at the Judaization project in East Jerusalem’s Palestinian neighborhoods.
In this photo, he’s pictured addressing a settler yeshiva established with the lucre of Miami-based bingo magnate Irving Moskowitz. Moskowitz is the very one who stole the Palestinian Shepherd Hotel and partially demolished it last week so he can move in some settler families. I guess no one told Huckabee that this project flies directly in the face of current U.S. policy as does supporting settler thugs guilty of promoting violence and hooliganism against Palestinians and Jews alike.
But I reserve the biggest laugh for Zeev’s recounting of his discussions with his pal, Mike, who the reporter erroneously credits with being a U.S. senator:
I got together with him to pursue two issues: [international] recognition of Jewish refugees from Arab lands and recognition by the UN of Israel with the status of “indigenous.” It’s unacceptable that after 2,000 years of exile, we are still characterized as “occupiers.” Since 2007, there are peoples recognized by the UN as indigenous. The U.S. also recognizes Indians as indigenous and if it won’t return to them their ancestral lands it will offer reparations. We too require similar recognition. Our connection to the land appears in the Bible and we are connected to this land no less than the Indians.
In fact, I’d suggest as a terrific photo-op that Mike bring together a settler chief and an Indian chief and they can both compare war stories. Maybe the settlers can set up shop on a few reservations and teach tribal leaders who to expand their “settlements” by annexing land belonging to white folk, and force the U.S. government to recognize their land thefts. I’m sure that’ll go over big in Washington.
Ya gotta hand it to Zeev though, he’s a real joker:
MK Zeev noted that Israel has many friends in the UN and Congress who have only to be asked to make the changes he’s proposing. I visited Congress, where we have many friends, and many told me it was unfortunate that Israel didn’t make this demand [of Congress].
Zeev said that Huckabee promised to do everything in his power to bring this proposal before the UN…
Go ahead, Mike. What’s stopping you? You’re a U.S. senator, aren’t you? Bring forward a ‘sense of the senate’ resolution recognizing Israeli Jews as indigenous. Maybe one of the long-lost Indian tribes? And while you’re at it let’s get Congress to allocate a few billions in reparation for Jews who suffered an “Arab Holocaust” and were expelled from their native lands. A Jewish Nakba. Of our very own. Why should only Arabs get to have one? Just doesn’t seem fair. If they get to suffer, why not us as well?
Mike’s not above a little mirth as well. Among the pithy statements he made while in the Holy Land preparing for Armageddon were that he believed in a Palestinian state, just not in Israel. Which at first glance might appear to be a conventional endorsement of the two state solution…until you realize that Huckabee embraces the settler narrative that all of Greater Israel including Palestine is Israel. So he’s in effect telling Palestinians and his own U.S. government to move Palestine somewhere like, say Uganda. Where have we heard that one before?