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Churchill, Iran & ‘Duck Dynasty’: Mike Huckabee brings his presidential bid to the Israeli settlements

on 31 Comments

In a blitz tour of Israel and one Israeli settlement to fundraise and campaign for his presidential bid, GOP candidate and former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee managed one major gaffe, and doubled down views about Israel that are far to the right of any other Republican runner– and most of the Israeli government, too.

Huckabee referred to Russia as the “Soviet Union,” and said the West Bank borders Israel’s “sworn enemies”—a reference to Jordan, which is an ally of Israel–when speaking to journalists at a Jerusalem hotel. In what the Guardian’s Peter Beaumont called a “confused and garbled press conference,” that had “no policy he could articulate on the future of Palestinians,” Huckabee also called the West Bank, occupied Palestinian territory, by the biblical name “Judea and Samaria.”

“Score one for Mr. Huckabee on terminology,” said The New York Times’ Jodi Rudoren, noting Huckabee’s careful use of lingua pro-Israel. She suggested the trip was a not so veiled attempt to secure favor from top Republican donors back home: “It is, in a way, part of an invisible primary to win the heart – and wallet — of Sheldon Adelson, the megadonor who has questioned the existence of the Palestinian peoplehood.”

After the event Huckabee met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and posted a handshake of the two, along with a message reiterating a frequent slogan of support of the Israeli leader on social media. “He is a Churchill in a world full of Chamberlains” wrote Huckabee.

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On Tuesday Huckabee spoke at a fundraiser in the Israeli settlement of Shiloh, sponsored by Simon Falic, chairman of Duty Free America, who was also a chief donor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2012 campaign (Moreover, the Falic family has financed an archeological project in Shiloh and owns a winery in another West Bank settlement). In attendance was reality star and outdoorsman Willie Robertson from the show Duck Dynasty (which is filmed in Louisiana). Taking questions from press about the stop into occupied territory, Huckabee stated he viewed the settlement—and all of the West Bank—as part of Israel. Here’s Huckabee explaining his decision to visit Shiloh:

I wanted to show solidarity with the country that most reflects a mirror image of the American spirit, and also to show solidarity to the Israeli people and to show their extreme disgust with any deal with Iran.

I would think if you’re going to visit Israel, you should visit all of Israel and that would include Judea and Samaria.

Huckabee went as far as to compare Shiloh to Manhattan, stating that labeling either as occupied is “laughable.” From the Times of Israel:

“If I came and said, we need to end our occupation of Manhattan, I’m pretty sure that most Americans would find that laughable,” he said. “The Israelis have a strong connection to Judea and Samaria.”

Huckabee also posted a video to social media filmed in the West Bank, referring to the location as Jerusalem. And he likened Palestinians to ISIS.

“What is important about this area is that like so many times you’ll hear ‘why won’t the Israelis just give up some land?’ Well if you could stand where I’m standing now you would understand that giving up land is essentially not giving land for peace, it’s giving up land and giving up peace because nothing good would come out of it other than putting people who are sworn to Israel’s destruction even closer to them. I don’t think you would let some people from ISIS joyfully buy the home next to you and move into your neighborhood.”

Huckabee is by far the most ardent supporter of Israel on the GOP ticket. He has made countless trips to Israel in the past and leads an annual tour to Israel guiding hundreds of supporters.

Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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31 Responses

  1. amigo on August 20, 2015, 9:20 am

    Ari Shavit on Netanyahu ,s Churchill obsession.

    “People who know him well can attest to the fact that Netanyahu’s Churchill complex is deep, obsessive and multidimensional. As far back as 1993, in an op-ed in the New York Times written in opposition to the Oslo Accords, Netanyahu compared the ambitions of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin for peace with the Palestinians to Neville Chamberlain’s delusions of “peace in our time” with Hitler. Today, Netanyahu views a nuclear deal with Iran in the same light.

    Because of this complex, Netanyahu scorns Democratic politicians and liberal intellectuals whom he sees as weaklings. Because of this complex, he is not really a civil leader who truly cares for the welfare of his citizens. He is unconcerned by social justice, human rights and the rule of law. As he sees it, his story and the story of his nation and the story of the West in the 21st century is the story of a mighty struggle between clashing cultures. Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iranians are evil, President Barack Obama’s Americans are weak, and he is the man entrusted with the historic mission of averting the most colossal catastrophe the world has seen since Auschwitz. That’s why when Netanyahu took office in April 2009, he defined the Churchillian mission with which he was charged: Iran, Iran, Iran. To prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear arms, to prevent Iran from regional hegemony, to prevent Iran from annihilating the Jews.

    Read more:

  2. just on August 20, 2015, 9:48 am

    Thanks for profiling this horror show, Allison. He makes my skin positively crawl!

    I guess he’ll have to go ‘pray’ about this next ~ maybe he can make his friend williebosshog ‘get down’ with him:

    “Britain will reopen its embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran this weekend nearly four years after demonstrators stormed the building, a UK diplomatic source said on Thursday.

    “The foreign secretary will travel to Iran to reopen our embassy there,” the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity as the trip has not been formally announced.

    The embassy was closed in November 2011, after a mob of activists and hardliners stormed its buildings to protest U.S. sanctions on Iran. The protesters climbed the walls of the embassy, looted property and burned flags. …”

    read more:

    (Great title, btw!)

    • RoHa on August 20, 2015, 10:19 am

      “Huckabee referred to Russia as the “Soviet Union,” and said the West Bank borders Israel’s “sworn enemies”—a reference to Jordan ”

      C’mon, Americans, admit it. You just let these people out to give us a laugh, don’t you?

      • just on August 20, 2015, 11:49 am

        LOL! Perfect, RoHa.

        (I’ll just go change my coffee- splattered shirt now.)

        I actually know some people that wouldn’t question Huckabee’s errors. Sad but true.

      • Kay24 on August 20, 2015, 11:59 am

        RoHa, these guys are so embarrassing. I can only imagine the sniggering that goes on behind the scenes when one of these jokers pay a visit to their mothership. I can image Bibi telling dear wife Sarah, “here comes another sucker ready to kiss our butts and fawn over us”. Go ahead and laugh at them, they are an embarrassing joke anyway. I wish they would go an live in that “wonderful” democratic nation.

      • CigarGod on August 20, 2015, 12:04 pm

        The conversation took place in their closet as they filled mason jars with coins.

      • CigarGod on August 20, 2015, 12:01 pm

        Yep, we also shoot clowns out of our cannon’s.
        We like to combine the two.
        See Slim Pickins riding an H-bomb out of the bomb bay in Dr. Strangelove.

      • Kay24 on August 20, 2015, 12:12 pm

        CigarGod, they have no more mason jars left, they sold it all and she kept most of the money.
        What cheapskates. From the many stories we hear, they are sponging off their country (maybe our tax money?).

        ‘Sara Netanyahu pocketed bottle deposits cash’
        Report in Haaretz claims PM Netanyahu wife’s kept thousands of shekels from deposits on empty bottles; Netanyahus reportedly paid state back roughly $1,000, though deposits estimated at over $5,000.” Ynet news.

      • CigarGod on August 20, 2015, 12:22 pm

        Lower order humans are so funny to watch.

  3. CigarGod on August 20, 2015, 10:20 am

    That’s some handshake.
    Why did I feel sorry for Bibi…for a moment?
    Damn…the people some people sleep with.
    Boss Hog?
    Why am I thinking of the famous Deliverence line?

    Okay guys…
    1. “Bibi, Huck and Boss Hog walk into a bar:
    2. “Bibi, Huck and Boss Hog are on a jet:
    3. “Bibi, Huck and Boss Hog meet at the pearly gates:

    • just on August 20, 2015, 10:22 am

      lol, CigarGod!

      (except the part about feeling “sorry for Bibi”, of course!)

  4. a blah chick on August 20, 2015, 10:28 am

    “confused and garbled press conference,” that had “no policy he could articulate on the future of Palestinians,”

    Well, the American government doesn’t have a policy either, so there’s that.

    “I wanted to show solidarity with the country that most reflects a mirror image of the American spirit”

    Now that I can agree with.

  5. italian ex-pat on August 20, 2015, 11:00 am

    I must say, what REALLY caught my eye, in the photo right below the title, was the wall map of the Mid-East, in Hebrew. I don’t why, but it just cracked me up – maybe it was the position of Iran, right above Huckabee’s head!
    Too bad the section showing Israel is hidden. It would be interesting to see where they have drawn her borders.

  6. Citizen on August 20, 2015, 11:04 am

    Some pic above this article. Huckabee’s got a slightly anxious, hopeful supplicant’s expression on his face; Bibi’s looks slyly bemused & embarrassed, pitiless.

  7. ckg on August 20, 2015, 11:27 am

    Behind every Churchill and Chamberlain analogy there is an implied Nazi analogy. Godwin’s Law applies.

  8. Kay24 on August 20, 2015, 11:53 am

    Oye vey, these American leaders, they embarrass us with their shameless display of devotion to one of the most disliked nations in the world. Not the UK, not France, not Canada, but the zionist state of Israel. What they say when they get there is always stunningly lame, and the buttering up is so obvious. They forget their American pride and self respect, when they get down on their knees. Sheeesh!

  9. just on August 20, 2015, 12:21 pm

    Steven L. Spiegel is completely out of his mind! Netanyahu doesn’t get to ASK for or INSIST on anything and the “deal” is done!

    “This Is the Deal Netanyahu Should Ask the U.S. for

    Rather than gamble Israel’s security on the hope that Congress will reject the Iran deal, Israel’s premier should insist on a NATO-style treaty.

    … Obama is confident enough that the deal will deter Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons that he’s willing to make commitments to Israel and the Arab countries that feel threatened by the Iranians. In his speech on the Iran deal on August 5, he asserted, “We need to check the behavior that we are concerned about directly, by helping our allies in the region strengthen their own capabilities.” In addition to a possible increase in aid, his is administration is discussing other forms of military support for the Jewish state, including shipments of sophisticated offensive weaponry and arms stockpiles. This is a good start, but not enough, especially regarding support for the Israelis.

    Netanyahu may have gone too far in publicly challenging the current American administration on Iran, but, after all, he leads the only country that the current Iranian regime declares has no right to exist and should be eliminated. Even if the threat from Tehran remained conventional, the lifting of sanctions would likely enable a richer Iran to provide Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist groups with far more sophisticated arms, which Israel will have to counter. Since the U.S. made the Iran deal possible, it has an obligation to provide Israel with the necessary means to do this.

    In addition to arms promises, the Israelis need a NATO-style defense pact that clearly announces that a weapons-of-mass-destruction attack on Israel will be regarded as equivalent to an attack on the United States, whether or not the treaty mentions Iran by name. Such an accord would validate Obama’s faith in the Iran deal, and committing to it would be easier for Obama than previous presidents because his record on military aid to Israel is unprecedented in U.S. history (despite the criticism he receives from many of Israel’s supporters).  …”

    read more:

    (Steven L. Spiegel is a professor of political science and the director of the Center for Middle East Development at UCLA and a scholar at the Israel Policy Forum. )

    And who is going to be on the receiving end of ” other forms of military support for the Jewish state, including shipments of sophisticated offensive weaponry and arms stockpiles”???

    No more aid, no more weapons, no more veto for Israel. NONE.

    • Rashers2 on August 21, 2015, 7:52 pm

      “No more aid, no more weapons, no more veto for Israel. NONE.” Amen.

  10. a blah chick on August 20, 2015, 12:51 pm

    The GOP loves Israel because they can openly engage in ethnic cleansing with no apologies & that’s the future the right wing wants for America.

  11. piotr on August 20, 2015, 2:19 pm

    On some points Huckabee was obviously wrong, like Russia is not in Soviet Union anymore, and Jordan is not a hostile nation. But on some he was correct. Churchill was a homicidal racist maniac, e.g. using poison gas at unruly Arab tribes in Iraq, so a comparison of Netanyahu to Churchill is not that farfetched. (Although one needs to check if Chamberlain was also a bloodthirsty colonialist.)

    • JLewisDickerson on August 20, 2015, 3:32 pm


      When Britain lost control of Egypt in 1956, Prime Minister Anthony Eden said he wanted the nationalist president Gamal Abdel Nasser “destroyed, murdered, I don’t give a damn if there’s anarchy and chaos in Egypt.” Those insolent Arabs, Winston Churchill had urged in 1951, should be driven “into the gutter from which they should never have emerged.”

      SOURCE –

      I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of American or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.” ~ To the Peel Commission (1937) on a Jewish Homeland in Palestine

      SOURCE –

      What about Gandhi’s nemesis, Winston Churchill? Today we only remember his heroic opposition to Nazism. But while he was against gassing and tyranny in Europe, he was passionately in favour of it for “uncivilised” human beings whose riches he wanted to seize. In the 1920s, Iraqis rose up against British imperial rule, and Churchill as Colonial Secretary thought of a good solution: gas them. He wrote: “I do not understand this squeamishness… I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes.” It would “spread a lively terror”. He was quite clear about why Britain should do this. He explained: “We have engrossed to ourselves an altogether disproportionate share of the wealth and traffic of the world… mainly acquired by violence, largely maintained by force.”

      SOURCE –

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “The Churchill you didn’t know”,, 27 November 2002
      Thousands voted him the greatest Briton – but did they know about his views on Gandhi, gassing and Jews…
      LINK –

      P.P.S. Nothing was more important to Churchill than the survival of his beloved British Empire. Here is a photo of Churchill’s ancestral home & birthplace.* It might help explain why Netanyahu is such a fan of his!

      * FROM WIKIPEDIA: At the end of the 19th century, Blenheim Palace[Churchill’s ancestral home & birthplace] was saved from ruin by funds gained from the 9th Duke of Marlborough’s marriage to American railroad heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt.
      SOURCE –

    • eGuard on August 21, 2015, 5:26 am

      Don’t forget Churchill was voted out of office within two months after WWII ended in Europe. And India left the British crown as speedy as possible.

    • druid on August 25, 2015, 8:08 pm

      Well said!

  12. Nevada Ned on August 20, 2015, 4:25 pm

    Netanyahu pushes the analogy;
    Israel = Great Britain
    Iran = Germany

    This can’t be taken seriously.

    Does anybody remember the Iran-Contra Scandal of the 1980’s?
    The US (Reagan Administration) and the Israelis sold advanced weapons to the Iranian government.

    So the next time an Israeli spokesman starts blathering about how horrible the Iranian mullahs are, someone ought to stop the conversation and ask
    “If Iran is so horrible, why did Israel and the US sell weapons to Iran??”

    My conclusion is that Netanyahu and the Israeli “leaders” don’t believe their own propaganda.

  13. traintosiberia on August 20, 2015, 7:05 pm

    I came across a new term cuckconservative . Rush Limabaugh alluded to also Guardian ( UK ) coveted it .
    . This term gained prominence following the conservative efforts to distance themselves from the immigration policy of Trump . Bush was named to be one. But in that blog these fanatic anti immigration conservatives were equally pissed off at those who would cheerlead for Israel.
    Duck dynasty and Huckabee don’t have much shelf life left for these conscious buyers.
    Some movement also have been noticed among the evangelical.
    Winning election through evoking Churchill or showcasing the dynasty of duck family in the glorious presence of Netanyahu is no longer even a proposal worth anyone’s consideration.

  14. just on August 24, 2015, 10:21 am

    “Facing Iran, He Promised Israelis a Churchill. What We Got Was Wile E. Coyote

    From the rules for writing Road Runner cartoons: ‘Rule 3: The Coyote could stop anytime – if he were not a fanatic (Repeat: A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim).’

    Last March, when Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the U.S. Congress at the height of his re-election campaign, pundits heard clear, and clearly intentional, echoes of Winston Churchill in the speech warning against the Iranian nuclear deal.

    “A Churchill for Our Times,” read a title in the conservative National Review. Underscoring the parallel, a Washington Post headline noted that “Benjamin Netanyahu has now addressed Congress as many times as Winston Churchill.”

    The Post piece was illustrated with a bronze bust of Churchill, head canted in a heroic pose of dour indomitability – House Speaker John Boehner’s gift to the prime minister.

    Lest the comparison lay fallow…

    “It was an honor to meet with my friend @netanyahu while in Jerusalem,” Huckabee tweeted.

    “He is a Churchill in a world full of Chamberlains.”

    But something else happened last week that in many ways encapsulated just how much Netanyahu has fallen short of the legacy of the wartime British leader – and just how closely Netanyahu has grown to emulate the lame-ass style and ass-backward substance of another pugnacious figure of world renown, Wile E. Coyote:

    The government blew up a bridge.

    It wasn’t so much the actual explosive event, the breathlessly anticlimactic demolition of central Tel Aviv’s landmark eye-sore Maariv Bridge, that recalled with such startling fidelity the Warner Brothers cartoons in which an obsessive but fundamentally clueless Coyote revels in and ultimately misuses destructive technology to fail at one aggressively pursued, self-defeating, scorched-earth offensive after another.

    No, it was the ceremony which preceded it. Israelis by the droves who had woken at dawn to watch the demolition on live television, were treated to an empty podium – bare, that is, except for a last-century blasting detonator box and plunger straight out of the ACME Corporation mail-order catalogues so beloved of the Coyote.

    When Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, one of the small handful of remaining Netanyahu loyalists within the Likud, finally showed up 20 minutes late to blow up the bridge – the first step toward a subway system itself eons in the delaying – his introductory remarks left little doubt as to what the Netanyahu legacy is really about.

    “This explosion symbolizes hope and renewal,” Katz said. “From this day on, there will be no turning back.”

    With the collapse of the bridge, Katz declared, in what functioned as a neat summary of the government’s goals regarding the social democratic-based Israel of the past and the hard-right oriented Israel of the future, “This is a new history, which will replace the old history.”

    For the uninitiated – and for those curious about what makes Netanyahu, er, tick – cartoon genius Chuck Jones once said he based the character of Wile E. Coyote in part on a section of Mark Twain’s travel memoir Roughing It.

    In a long, vivid account, Twain describes the coyote’s “despairing expression of forsakenness and misery … He has a general slinking expression all over. The coyote is a living, breathing allegory of Want. He is always hungry.”

    “He is so spiritless and cowardly that even while his exposed teeth are pretending a threat, the rest of his face is apologizing for it.”
    But Wile E. is not just any coyote, just as Benjamin N. is not just any politician. Both operate according to simple but strict rules, as the cartoon coyote’s creator Chuck Jones suggested in a 1979 autobiography and a subsequent New York Museum of the Moving Image exhibition.

    Among the applicable commandments:

    “Rule 2: No outside force can harm the Coyote — only his own ineptitude or the failure of ACME products.” 

    “Rule 3: The Coyote could stop anytime – if he were not a fanatic. (Repeat: ‘A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim’ – George Santayana)”

    “Rule 9: The Coyote is always more humiliated than harmed by his failures.”

    Not that any of this should come as a surprise to us. True, he promised the Israeli voter to be a Churchill against Iran, and turned out to be Wile E. Coyote.

    But if we are surprised by any of this, we have only ourselves to blame. We watched him at the UN, year after year, did we not?

    After all, if it acts like a Wile E. Coyote, if it pictures an ACME bomb like a Wile E. Coyote, if it concentrates on just one enemy obsessively and endlessly like a Wile E. Coyote, then what is it?

    Is it the species of animal variously described in Looney Tunes Latin by names like Hardheadipus oedipus, or Nemesis ridiculii?

    To paraphrase the prime minister’s answer to a similar question in the course of his milestone 2012 “nuclear duck” speech to AIPAC,
    “Well, it ain’t a Churchill.”

    read more:

    It’s not a Gandhi, Mandela, or MLK. It’s a blight on humanity.

    So is Huckabee and the rest of the ‘pack’ of coyotes.

  15. Irfan on August 25, 2015, 3:32 pm

    This is older, but useful as background:

  16. Leahj on August 27, 2015, 9:19 am

    Those AIPAC funded TV ads I’m bombarded with, members of Congress opposed to the deal, Republican presidential hopefuls, & even Bibi himself keep stressing that they only object to this particular “bad deal”, & simply want us to impose harsher sanctions on Iran, enabling us to negotiate a “better deal”. Yet Huckabee said “and also to show solidarity to the Israeli people and to show their extreme disgust with any deal with Iran. ” ANY deal? Any at all?

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