Huckabee Urges Obama to Free Pollard

YERUSHALAYIM -

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee urged U.S. President Barack Obama to announce the release of Jonathan Pollard during his upcoming visit to Israel, The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.

Huckabee, leading a group of 200 Christian evangelicals to Israel, said that such a move would be a “cathartic moment in the relationship between Israel and the U.S.”

“I don’t think there is a price to be paid politically for the president in the United States for that, but there would be enormous benefit in terms of relationship with Israelis for him to make that announcement just prior to his coming, or even while he is here,” he said

Huckabee, an unsuccessful candidate for president in 2008, but now a popular conservative radio host, also addressed the Iran issue, saying he hoped the president “reassures the people of Israel that there is absolutely no way that America will stand by and let Iran develop a nuclear weapon. He needs to say that loudly, clearly and without equivocation.”

Such a declaration would be welcomed, he said, not only in Israel, but there “would be dancing in the halls in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, and the UAE —everywhere but Syria.”

Huckabee blasted senators Charles Shumer (D-New York) and Carl Levin (D-Michigan), who are both Jewish, for supporting Hagel and questioned how they could ever have credibility again with the Jewish community, “or for that matter with the rest of America.”

He said that “if it proves true that the rumors that Chuck Hagel received funds from friends of Hamas, then on its face it would disqualify him.”

Huckabee said Hagel must disclose all “his financial entanglements,” because “that rumor — if not true — has to be dispelled.” If true, he said, “it absolutely disqualifies him for any consideration, even as a gatekeeper at a national park, let alone as defense secretary.”

Huckabee praised Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, whom he hopes to meet during his week-long visit. Netanyahu, he said, is “extraordinarily popular in the United States, I would say he is one of the most popular political figures in the U.S.”