Does Mike Huckabee buy into “transfer”?-UPDATE


Spencer Ackerman at the Washington Independent wonders if by this...

The question is should the Palestinians have a place to call their own? Yes, I have no problem with that. Should it be in the middle of the Jewish homeland? That’s what I think has to be honestly assessed as virtually unrealistic.

…former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and likely 2012 presidential candidate is advocating transfer:

If Huckabee has any idea what he’s talking about — which at this point is an open question and the only exculpatory option for him — then he’s advocating the transfer of millions of Palestinians from the West Bank (and, who knows, maybe Gaza) to a different Arab state. That’s commonly known as “ethnic cleansing.” Israel and the world, rightly, consider transfer to be monstrous. Or, I suppose, he could mean tiny Palestinian Bantustans, swallowed up by ever expanding Israeli settlements, which could “govern” themselves under endless Israeli occupation. If we take Huckabee at his word, those are the only two choices. And this is the guy who’s based his entire political profile on good Christian values.

There is a third option — and, I’ll say it upfront, should it become U.S. policy the consequences would be, shall we say, "open ended" and not in a quiet sense: Huckabee might be buying into the old "Jordan is Palestine" plan.

The plan dusted off its ashes last year when it was dubbed "The Israeli Plan" by Benny Elon, a figure who is close to Huckabee’s settler hosts while he tours Israel and the West Bank.

The plan (which no serious actor, least of all the Jordanians, takes seriously) does not necessarily involve transfer, although it does not appear to count it out. Palestinians "who continue to reside" in the West Bank would have "political rights" in Amman. (This has always baffled me — who picks up the garbage?  who delivers the mail? But like I said, it’s kind of like having "Earth Two" arguments with DC Comics afficionados — not a discussion anchored in reality.).

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) flirted with the plan during his own presidential campaign last year, so Huckabee’s endorsement  wouldn’t even be unprecedented.

UPDATE: Ami points out to me that perhaps Huckabee is, indeed, referring to transfer. From our own profile of Huckabee during last year’s primaries:

“This is a guy who is very positive, very uplifting, “ said [N.H. State Rep. Jason] Bedrick, the gabbai at the Chabad synagogue in Wellesley Hills, Mass., where he often spends the Sabbath. “This is a country that needs some healing in addition to leadership. And of all the candidates in all the parties, he is the only top-tier candidate that can provide that.”

To boot, the New Hampshire lawmaker added, Huckabee is pro-Israel: He has visited the Jewish state nine times, and told the crowd at the Bedrick house party that he favored the establishment of a Palestinian state – in Egypt or Saudi Arabia.

At the Huffington Post, Amjad Atallah, tongue firmly in cheek (he’s worried Huckabee has offended The Onion by coming up with the idea first), says the Palestinians might just settle for California:

Many Palestinians immigrated to the US to live in industrial cities where jobs were plentiful. My grandfather’s brother worked for Ford for most of his life in Detroit and I grew up in Gary, Indiana. Nothing against Detroit and Gary, but Palestinians have an agrarian history (it wasn’t called the Fertile Crescent because you couldn’t grow anything) and would prefer California.

Many Palestinians, especially those in the Diaspora, are Christian and they could try their hand at taking over the California wine industry.

And think of all the jobs in Hollywood playing Arab stereotypes that could now go to actual Arabs.

Hmmm, but that raises the issue of what to do with all the Californians that already live there.

Perhaps Huckabee has a solution for them too. There is a lot of empty land in Nevada and Arizona. We’ll just have to wait for his next presidential run.

Blessed are the peacemakers.

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