There’s a storm afoot. I can feel it. It’s just now starting to churn, and the waters of the peace process are getting a bit choppier. I refer not to any coming wars, of which there are sure to be plenty, but to a new trend. The world is getting tired of the ongoing Oslo Peace Process, as it was originally designed to solve everything in 3 months (so said Yitzhak Rabin), and now, 16 years later, we’re still at Square One. What I am referring to is a growing post-Oslo phenomenon, a political approach that, instead of trying to find a way to “jumpstart the peace process,” just isn’t interested in having a peace process in the first place. I’m talking about Republican Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee.
Listed among the top contenders for the Republican throne in 2012, Huckabee’s approach to Israel would be fundamentally different than any president has taken since 1967. He came to Israel last week and said some sound bites that you wouldn’t believe. “The closest thing we [in America] ever had to that”– namely the demand that Jewish settlers leave their homes located on what most of the world believes is Palestinian land–“was the days of segregation, racially, where there were white neighborhoods and there were black neighborhoods.”
Also, “To say that Jews can’t live in Jerusalem is the equivalent of telling the Boston Red Sox they can’t play in Fenway Park. Obviously, that would never go over very well on Beacon Hill.”
The following is a paragraph from Shmuel Rosner’s article published in the New Republic analyzing Huckabee and his approach.
“Huckabee is becoming one of the loudest voices in a small (but growing) chorus of people who aren’t just tired of trying to make peace between Israelis and Palestinians, or pessimistic when it comes to the prospects of achieving such peace any time soon. These people–among them right-wing hacks and former generals, messianic radicals and cold-calculating strategists, populist politicians and idealistic dreamers–think that the whole paradigm of peace as we know it should be eliminated from the books. The reigning world vision of an Israeli-Palestinian peace is, they believe, so ’90s, and should boldly be replaced by new paradigms. Huckabee is the best hope that settlers and their supporters can entertain of turning this relatively marginal viewpoint into a legitimate position.”
Huckabee now has a hit show on Foxnews and is serious contender for the Republican nomination, so we’ll see how far he can get with his rhetoric.
The only problem is, what is Huckabee’s serious alternative? Meaning, there is a status quo here that can’t exactly be maintained for much longer, and peace process or not, it has to be changed. The good thing is, that’s not Huckabee’s business as to exactly how. All he can do is support whatever ideas we in Israel come up with. It’s up to Israel’s leaders to think it up and do it. The problem here is, there’s no one in power right now that is. Thinking it up on the sidelines, there are plenty. The question is, will they break into the mainstream?
The storm is brewing. Time will tell. And something tells me, it won’t really be that long before time does finally tell and the stalemate is broken. While time is busy ticking, here’s a nice video of Huckabee in the previous presidential campaign.