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Richard Silverstein on Israeli Settler MK Nissim Zeev and Mike Huckabee

A great piece by Richard Silverstein.



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?

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  • George

    The Palestinians are the direct decendents of all the tribes of Caanan. I can visit My Great great (3) Grandfather’s grave in the holy land. How many settlers can say the same?

  • 29. You really make it appear really easy together with your presentation however I in finding this matter to be actually something which I believe I’d by no means understand. It sort of feels too complex and extremely vast for me. I am having a look forward for your subsequent publish, I will attempt to get the hang of it!

  • AJ

    Mosizzle I recognise them too. The refusiniks that refuse to serve in IDF and the Israelis that lay in front of bull-dozers to prevent Palestinians’ homes from destruction, those are the Israelis that give me hope.

  • Mosizzle

    AJ, it may surprise you as it did surprise me, but there are many many good Israelis that are happy with Palestinians having their country and oppose settlements. Secular Israelis for example, who are a large part of the population, don’t really buy all the hate from some Rabbis who insist that the West Bank and Gaza were part of the promised land.

    Many religious Jews recognise that the mistreatment of Palestinians is against their religion. The worst thing we can do is generalise all Israelis as oppressive as we are generalised as terrorists.

  • AJ

    Jews consider Israel as the homeland of Jews so I don’t think the one state solution is something that is feasible. The two state solution could work if Israelis stop being greedy, stop dreaming of increasing their boundaries endlessly and stop hoping that the Palestinians would just disappear somewhere.

  • Ian Gould

    A single-nation solution coudl wrok.

    I envisage something along the liens of Switzerland – a small Federal government largely responsible for defense, foreign affairs, and immigration with a large number of highly autonomous cantons.

    So the Bedu, Druze; Christians, Secular Jews, Haredi Jews etc could each have their own personal law etc.

  • FXG

    “What I don’t understand about Zionist settlers is that how do they know if the person is really from outside? How do they know the Palestinians weren’t jews before? DNA evidence shows that both the European Jews and Palestinians have the same DNA. This is nothing like native american comparison.”

    No offense but any DNA study that says this is bunk. modern day Palestinians are the result of countless invasions, migrations,population movements and ethnic mixing. Most Israeli Jews are descended from Eastern and Western European Jews, ie non Semites. any Palestinians who cluster with them genetically have a Mediterranean European Origin. But you are right, comparing an indigenous population(Palestinians), with an emigrant
    one(Ashkenazi Jews) is definitely unwarranted.

    Even if we account for the major Arab migration into the region as a result of the expansion of the Muslim Arab Empire, most modern Palestinians are descended from groups that pre-date even a Jewish presence in the region. What happened is that these proto-Palestinians became Christians and Muslims and the Zionists and their supporters will do anything to hide this historical fact, despite the fact that the Hebrew bible records the Hebrew invasions of Palestine :_)

    BTW, Nur Alia i think it is meant Native Americans who are in fact indigenous to the Americas.

    Allahu A’lam

  • FXG

    What I don’t understand about Zionist settlers is that how do they know if the person is really from outside? How do they know the Palestinians weren’t jews before? DNA evidence shows that both the European Jews and Palestinians have the same DNA. This is nothing like native american comparison.

  • Nur Alia

    I didnt know that “Indians’ were indiginous to the Americas.

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  • jihad bobs dad

    Sadly the one state solution will never be adopted, apart from the orthodox Jewish community the birth rate is dropping amongst Israelis, if they allow the Palestinians to join as one state then of course in theory they would gain full rights as Israelis including voting and a role in the armed forces, with the Palestinians having larger families this will never be allowed and the long term aim of the religious right is to build the temple on temple mount, a notion that could never take place in a shared state. We will not see peace in that region , nothing but pain, tears and death for years to come.

  • syed

    I agree with Daniel – the one-state solution for Israel and Palestine is perhaps the only workable solution left.

  • Daniel

    IMO, the only just solution is a one-state solution with absolutely no preference based on race, ethnicity or religion. Even though this may seem unrealistic, in the end, justice alone can be a lasting solution. The current status quo is both unjust and unsustainable, and I don’t believe the Israelis really are interested in letting the Palestinains have a true state. We dare not continue to support such an apartheid nation unconditionally.

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  • mindy1

    Scathing!!! I do hope a proper two state solution can be reached soon, this has gone on for far too long

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