Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Huckabee's Jewish Problem

The Jewish Week talks up how the Jewish vote would break down in a potential Obama/Huckabee 2012 match-up. Basically, their conclusion is that Huckabee's far-right views on Israel could energize the "single-issue" pro-Israel Jewish right, but his far-right, well, everything else, would similarly galvanize the broader Jewish community against him. The result would be a wash (which is to say, the normal Democratic domination), but perhaps more money flowing into GOP coffers than normal.

Can I point out the inconvenient fact that Huckabee isn't actually pro-Israel in any meaningful sense of the word? I get that there are some more repulsive members of my community for whom pro-Israelness is measured by how much utter disdain and contempt one can express towards any Palestinian desire or ambition. Nonetheless, if there is one lodestone of what it means to be "pro-Israel" in the modern world, it is opposition to a single-state solution -- that is, a unified state "from the river to the sea". That's Hamas' goal, and the resultant state would very soon have a Jewish minority and would have to cease existence as a Jewish state. Mike Huckabee endorses this position, possibly alone amongst presidential contenders (he's the only one I know of, anyway). That he may do this out of abject ignorance is no excuse -- it just goes to show how disconnected the Governor is from actual Jews who actually care about Israel and know how disastrous his positions would be for the stability and well-being of the state.

The only single-issue Israel voters who should be attracted to Huckabee are those whose single-issue is seeing Israel obliterated. That's the Huckabee plank.


Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...


Ryan said...

Really? Get real. What Huck and his fellow travelers are interested in is apartheid, plain and simple. South Africa didn't "very soon" cease to exist as an apartheid state after that system was established. But instead of calling the Greater Israel agenda what it is I guess some people want it all to be about them.

PG said...

South Africa didn't "very soon" cease to exist as an apartheid state after that system was established.

This makes no sense. As David has previously noted (and linked here), Huckabee is opposed to a Palestinian state and believes in a Bible-based Greater Israel -- including East Jerusalem and the West Bank. However, Jews would almost certainly become the minority in a Greater Israel, which means that in a democracy they would cease to have the voting strength to ensure that Israel remains a Jewish homeland (e.g. that it continues to offer refuge to Jews persecuted elsewhere). If Israel ceases to be a democracy or if it cease to be a Jewish homeland, it's not really the modern state of Israel anymore.

What I do wonder about, however, is how Israel can ensure that its non-Jewish citizens never outpopulate its Jewish ones. In theory, the non-Jewish population of Israel could breed at a much faster rate than the Jewish population, eventually leading to Jews' being a minority even without Israel's having absorbed areas that today are overwhelmingly non-Jewish. To the extent that non-Jews are on average poorer/more religious than Israeli Jews, and thus more prone to large families, this seems like a foreseeable possibility even if Israel does everything right with regard to the creation of a Palestinian homeland.

Rebecca said...

PG - I've read recently that the birth rate of Israeli Arab citizens has also been decreasing due to the usual reason that birth rates decline: increasing education and opportunities for women.