Huckabee evokes right of Jews to live in all of Israel (JERUSALEM POST) By JONAH MANDEL 02/01/11)
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Drawing on American values of freedom and self-determination, Mike
Huckabee, a likely Republican presidential contender, defended the
right of Jews to live anywhere in Israel on Monday during the
cornerstone- laying ceremony for a new Jewish neighborhood on east
Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives.
Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz (Habayit
Hayehudi), MK Danny Danon (Likud), Jerusalem municipal officials, a
movie star, rabbis and dozens of students from the adjacent Beit Orot
yeshiva assembled for the ceremony in a makeshift tent just above the
new construction site.
As the wind occasionally shook the tent’s walls, Huckabee opened his
remarks by alluding to the muddy ground and noting that the revenues
of a shoe-shine stand at the site could provide sufficient funding
for continued construction.
He then moved on to the more symbolic elements of the stormy weather.
“In many ways, it’s probably appropriate that the weather was acting
against us because there is no doubt but that many forces acted
against the Jewish people in returning to their homeland, being able
to live in the place that God gave them,” he said. “It is
inconceivable in many ways that we would have to even argue and
debate whether or not Israelis could live in Israel, not just in
parts of Israel but anywhere in Israel they wished to live.”
He continued by saying “I cannot imagine as an American being told
that I could not live in certain places in America because I was
Christian, or because I was white, or because I spoke English. I
would be outraged if someone told me that in my country, I would be
prohibited and forbidden to live in a part of that country, for any
Huckabee added that the “essence of freedom, the very heart of it,”
is self-determination and self-direction.
“And so today,” he said, “we dedicate this place not only as a place
for people to live, but for people to live free. Many people across
the world live, but the real inner quest in every heart is to live
free. I join you today in celebrating this place as a place for
people who will not merely live, but live free, as a testament to
their commitment of making Israel a place where there is always a
home for the Jewish people.”
Academy Award-winning actor Jon Voight, who accompanied Huckabee to
Israel, said he was “very proud to be here with all of you who stood
for justice and for the legacy of the Jewish people.
And when I see you I think of all the great ones, for so many
centuries, who had a dream to pass on the legacy to the next
generation, and labored hard and suffered and sacrificed.”
Voight concluded his remarks to loud applause by saying, “And now you
are here, this is your time, and you are doing what you should be
doing, which is to prepare the next generations and to be the hope of
the world that you are. I love you all.”
Construction on the new residential neighborhood commenced some three
weeks ago, after the Jerusalem municipal planning board granted a
permit for 18 apartments in three buildings, primarily for married
students at Beit Orot. The entire complex will be named the Irving
Moskowitz Yeshiva and Campus– Yeshivat Beit Orot, after the primary
benefactor, an American bingo parlor mogul.
Hershkowitz stressed in his address that, contrary to what some say,
Jewish construction is not making an agreement with the Palestinians
harder to reach.
“Building in all parts of Israel and particularly Jerusalem does not
hinder peace – building in Jerusalem only increases peace,”
“Since we want a lot of peace, we hope that the Beit Orot
neighborhood will be a model to the construction momentum in
Jerusalem and all of Israel.” (© 1995 - 2011 The Jerusalem Post.
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