On the fifth night of Hanukkah Gov. Mike Huckabee was honored to be a keynote speaker at the 28th annual Beit El dinner. He said he was "grateful to be amongst so many in the room who have shown courage in seeking to stand with Israel... the right of the Jewish people to have a homeland did not originate with the Balfour Agreement or the United Nations, but with God himself."
The Jewish Week notes that Huckabee used his sense of humor when addressing the crowd of about 1100:
"If I ran with John McCain in 2008 the Republicans would have had a McCabee victory."
“Where we are now is between a Barack and a hard place,” he quipped.
He used a more serious tone to take on the Israeli settlement issue, in which Huckabee has consistently said that the Obama administration is wrong to pressure Israel to stop building on their own land.
“A cessation of land development in order to make peace with an adversary that refuses to recognize your right to exist is counterintuitive,” he said. “It seems to me there should be pressure put on the Palestinians, not the Israelis.”
"As for those critics of the $3 billion dollars of U.S. aid to Israel, Huckabee said he wants for the people who are not Jewish to recognize why the Jewish people should be safe and secure."
Mike Huckabee has been a true friend of Israel's, visiting there 12 times, touring rocketed torn land, being honored at a special Knesset event hosted by Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Danny Danon and attending private meetings with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. On his last visit in 2010, he toured Israel with his daughter Sarah Huckabee who had last been there when she was 11 years old. Huckabee tells the story of his daughter's reaction to seeing Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum in Israel. As a young child she wrote in the guest book, "Why didn't somebody do something?"
Huckabee continues on after the story stating that one of his greatest nightmares is that someday in the future there will be a museum dedicated to the great country called America who forgot who it was and why it was here. He ended his speech stating that we need to ensure that what happened during the holocaust never happens again. Encouraging the dinner guests, "You will see to it that America and Israel never allow something to happen again to any people, any time, any place, for any reason."