Huckabee: Evangelicals More Supportive of Israel than U.S. Jews

Mike Huckabee, most widely known as a former Republican presidential candidate, said recently that evangelicals are more supportive of Israel than even American Jews.

In an interview with CBN News, Huckabee, who was wrapping up a trip to Israel, called evangelicals the "best friends" of Israeli Jews.

While American Jews are divided on the level of support for Israel in terms of its borders, the politician-turned-political commentator said in general he doesn't see that "dichotomy" among the evangelical community. He says that "it's pretty adamant" among evangelicals that "there ought to be one city (Jerusalem). There ought to be a Jewish state and it ought to be secured."

"One of the things I find most interesting is, generally, evangelicals are so much more supportive of Israel than the American Jewish community," Huckabee said.

But while Huckabee and other Christian Zionists claim to speak for the evangelical community, a growing number of the community's leaders are saying that they disagree when it comes to the Israel-Palestinian state debate.

A group of 34 prominent evangelical leaders published a letter in the New York Times voicing support of a two-state solution. In the 2007 letter ad, they stated that both Israel and Palestinians have "legitimate rights" to the land.

They also said they wanted to rectify the "serious misconception" that all American evangelicals are against a two-state solution that creates a new Palestinian state.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," they stated. "We, who sign this letter, represent large numbers of evangelicals throughout the U.S. who support justice for both Israelis and Palestinians."

Signers included Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary; David Neff, editor of Christianity Today; Richard Stearns, president of World Vision; Stephen Hayner, former president InterVarsity Christian Fellowship; and Joel Hunter, senior pastor of Northland Church in Longwood, Fla., and member of the executive committee of the National Association of Evangelicals.

During the interview, Huckabee also criticized the Obama administration's new cooler relations with Israel, especially its recent call for Israel to suspend construction in East Jerusalem. He called it a "reversal of policy" not only from the Bush administration, but also of U.S.-Israeli relations under the Clinton administration.

Huckabee may possibly run again for president in the 2012 election.

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