Huckabee piles on Thomas, even after demanding Palestinians leave

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, June 7, 2010 21:15 EDT
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There’s a saying about how people who live in glass houses should take care to avoid throwing stones.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee appears to be ignoring that age-old advice, taking several moments during a recent Fox News broadcast to attack veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas over her opinion on the Israel-Palestine conflict — in spite of his own remarkably similar comments on Palestinians.

Thomas had remarked to a Rabbi that Palestine is “occupied” by Israel, which should “get the hell out.”

“[Jews] can go home, Poland, Germany, and America and everywhere else,” she said, sparking a swell of criticism, both from her colleagues and critics.

“I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians,” she later said on her Web site. “They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.”

Huckabee called her apology “pretty lame.”

“Her comments were outrageous, anti-Semitic, racist, indefensible,” he said on Sunday. “She says that the Jews ought to go home. Helen, they are home. They are home. Read Genesis 15, Exodus 23, Numbers 34, that’s why they are where they are. Helen, I’ve got a suggestion, maybe it’s time for you to go home.”

However, Huckabee told right-wing conspiracy site World-Net Daily in 2008 that he believes Palestine to be illegally located on Israeli land, suggesting that Palestinians should just go somewhere else.

“There is only one place on earth where the Jewish people could have a homeland that is consistent with their roots, whereas the Palestinians can create their homeland in many other places in the Middle East, outside Israel,” he said, leveraging the comment to slam a proposed two-state peace solution.

Huckabee has repeatedly said he’s vehemently against Israel recognizing the Palestinian state.

“The question is should the Palestinians have a place to call their own?” he added in a separate interview noted by Washington Independent. “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.”

He has not apologized.

“[Huckabee's position is] not just at odds with Washington,” commented Washington Independent’s Spencer Ackerman. “It’s a stance at odds with the entire international community, pretty much every Israeli government of the past 15 years and, as Amjad Atallah writes, it’s even to the right of Hamas.”

Liberal watchdog blog Think Progress added: “Moreover, Huckabee’s suggestion that the Bible be used to justify international boundaries and dictate foreign policy seems to be both a violation of the separation of church and state, and dangerously out of touch with reality. Would Huckabee endorse expanding Israel to cover the entire area God promised to Abraham — which would stretch from ‘the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates,’ including much of modern-day Egypt, Jordan, and Syria — and kick out the local populations along the way?”

In spite of his comments on Palestine, Huckabee continues to be a paid contributor at Fox News and has not been called upon to resign.

Thomas, who resigned on Monday morning, effective “immediately,” covered every U.S. president since John F. Kennedy for the UPI wire service, then as an opinion columnist for Hearst Newspapers. She turns 90 in August.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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