JERUSALEM (JTA) — Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee defended the right of Jewish people right to live in eastern Jerusalem.
Huckabee, a Republican who is likely to make another White House bid in 2012, visited Jewish residents of eastern Jerusalem Monday as part of a three-day visit to Israel.
The former Arkansas governor said during his tour that the United States should not tell Jewish people in Israel where they are allowed to live.
"It’s like telling people they can’t live in Queens, or Brooklyn or the Bronx,” Huckabee said. “New Yorkers would never stand for being told where they can and cannot live. Why should we be trying to do the same to Israel?”
Huckabee attended a dinner Monday night at the Shepherd Hotel, which is set to be rebuilt as 20 apartments for Jewish residents on land purchased by American businessman Irving Moskowitz. The Obama administration has expressed its disapproval of the plan.
Dozens of activists from the right and left protested in front of the hotel during the dinner, hurling insults at each other, Ynet reported
Huckabee is also set to visit the Jewish neighborhood of Hebron and Ma’aleh Adumim in the West Bank.