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Huckabee and Palestine

Huckabee has recently been guiding tourists around Israel and spouting his usual ideological rubbish:

The Huckabeeans also heard from Morton Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America, who explained to the group, according to Huckabee, that there’s really no such thing as the “Palestinians.”

“The idea that they have a long history, dating back hundreds or thousands of years, is not true,” Huckabee said.

Huckabee has been saying things like this for years, so that’s not new. What stood out in this report was how breezily the reporter relayed these statements, which in almost any other context would be identified as the provocative and hard-line nonsense that it is. It’s not news that a “pro-Israel” hawk would repeat the dishonest and ignorant claim that “there’s no such thing as Palestinians,” but it is striking how such an obnoxious claim can be recycled in news coverage without the slightest effort to qualify or challenge that claim. The trouble with Huckabee’s view isn’t just that it is completely wrong about the history of the Palestinians, but that he relies on this false claim to justify his call for creating a Palestinian state somewhere other than Palestine. Huckabee is fine with Palestinians’ having a “place to call their own” so long as it isn’t the country where millions of them live and where their ancestors lived for centuries. In other words, he wants them to have their own country as long as they aren’t in their own country. The perversity and cruelty of Huckabee’s views should be the story here, but instead we get a slightly gushing travelogue about his tourist adventures.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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