“It is inconceivable in many ways that we would have to even argue and debate whether or not Israelis could live in Israel, not just in parts of Israel but anywhere in Israel they wished to live,” Huckabee added. “I cannot imagine as an American being told that I could not live in certain places in America because I was Christian, or because I was white, or because I spoke English. I would be outraged if someone told me that in my country, I would be prohibited and forbidden to live in a part of that country, for any reason.”
Israel Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz also spoke at the ceremony and asserted that construction in Jerusalem is “not an impediment to peace, it brings it closer,” adding that the more Israel builds “the more peace there will be.”
“That is why this neighborhood is only the cornerstone. It will serve as a model for the resurgence of Jerusalem’s construction swing,” Hershkowitz said.
Huckabee, a Fox News personality and likely 2012 GOP presidential candidate, who in 2007 claimed “there’s no such thing as a Palestinian,” was joined by actor and tea party favorite Jon Voight in a three-day visit hosted by the Jerusalem Reclamation Project, a group whose focus is to promote Jewish settlements. Both Huckabee and Voight will be meeting with Israeli officials, including Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as touring existing housing units.
Most of the international community — including President Barack Obama — considers Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem illegal because they are built on occupied land Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians claim both areas for a future state.
Huckabee also claimed that any peace agreement has to recognize that “the Jewish people have indigenous rights to the land in which they occupy and live and it goes back not 60 years or 80 years but it goes back 3,500 years.”
The establishment of settlements in the West Bank violates international humanitarian law which establishes principles that apply during war and occupation. Moreover, the settlements lead to the infringement of international human rights law.
The Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits an occupying power from transferring citizens from its own territory to the occupied territory (Article 49). The Hague Regulations prohibit an occupying power from undertaking permanent changes in the occupied area unless these are due to military needs in the narrow sense of the term, or unless they are undertaken for the benefit of the local population.