Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

Jews for Huckabee?

Would Jewish conservatives embrace Mike Huckabee as the GOP presidential
nominee in 2012? Zev Chafets–whose book, A
Match Made in Heaven
, deals with Jewish-Evangelical support for
Israel–suggests as much in Ariel Levy’s profile
of Huckabee
in the current New Yorker: “There’s a lot of
Jewish money on the right that’s got to go someplace,
especially if Obama continues to be perceived as unfriendly to Israel.”
I’m skeptical.


From what I can gather, if Jewish Republicans are lining up behind
anyone at this early date, it’s Mitt Romney. He strikes them as a
serious guy, a businessman, and he also hails from a religious minority.
As for Huckabee, while they like him personally–many people do–his
evangelical roots and base of support give them the willies.

The Huckster does some whining to Levy about being pigeon-holed as The
Evangelical in the field:

“I’m not one-dimensional,” he told me. “I was the governor of Arkansas
for ten years! The lieutenant-governor for three! To say that I stepped
out of a pulpit last Sunday and said, ‘Hey, I think I’ll be President!’
No, I’ve paid my dues.


Dues he’s paid, but he was also present at the creation of the religious
right, and his social agenda hasn’t varied since. Nor was he averse to
playing the religion card against his rivals–especially Romney–during
the 2008 primary season. 

So far as Jewish conservatives are concerned, it’s one thing to
celebrate the Christian Zionism of American evangelicals. It’s quite
another to help one of them into the White House. Israel isn’t the key
to conservative Jewish money; no serious Republican candidate these days
is going to be anything less than an enthusiastic supporter. Separation
of church and state–government-sponsored prayer, the teaching of
evolution, faith-based social services, religion in the
military,etc.–is where the rubber hits the road. 

Comments read comments(4)
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posted June 23, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Actually, I know conservative Jews who backed Huckabee just because he advocated for the “Fair” tax; but also others who back Romney because he was a businessman, and we all know how well they run government….

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posted June 24, 2010 at 10:59 am

If Jews want a Zionist, they should be fine with a Mormon. (Disclaimer: I’m Mormon). In general, Mormon’s are staunch supporters of Israel, they even have a BYU campus in Jerusalem. They, like Evangelicals, believe that it has been prophesied that the Jews will return to Jerusalem and that they have a God given right to be there.

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posted June 29, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Huckabee is the only one who walks the walk with Israel. The others only talk the talk. Huckabee has been to Israel over 10 times (12 I think) and has met with the top officials, receiving praise from them. How many times has Romney been to Israel?
And so Jewish voters are supposed to line up behind Romney because he is the “business type”? Stereotyping Jewish Americans in this way is deplorable, especially when saying that is the reason why someone should give money to a politician.
This article does the very thing that the author accuses of Huckabee of doing: playing the Religion card. I see no information about quotes from Romney or Huckabee about Israel, but instead suggesting that Jewish voters will like Romney because he is from a minority religion. You need to look at the facts, and not get sidetracked by ludicrous statements.
Truth is, Huckabee understands the importance of the Israeli nation, in both a political and theological way. He doesn’t give lip service, he actually does the work of going to Israel and learning about the problems in a face to face manner. Show me another politician who does as much, and I will show you a true friend and supporter of Israel.
I would also wonder aloud when Huckabee ever played the “religion card” against his opponents(notice the plurality). Note: the question about Jesus and Satan being brothers hardly qualifies. No other evidence in addition to this has been brought forward, yet the charge is given nonstop.
I would also like to mention that the author of this article shows real maturity by calling Mike Huckabee “Huckster”.

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posted July 3, 2010 at 8:07 pm

I’m with BMK. Governor Huckabee’s support for Israel is as obvious to anyone willing to examine the record as his stellar performance as governor of Arkansas. The GOP would have won in 2008-and we would be in much better condition on all fronts–had Huckabee been the candidate. Let’s hope he gives us another chance.
It is Governor Huckabee’s opponents who continually bring up his evangelical background; he clearly respects and considers all views. Remember, his success as governor of Arkansas came through his ability to get things done when working with political opponents so entrenched against him they actually nailed his office door shut for his first day in office.
Romney, on the other hand, has proven to be a politico who will say anything to be elected to the highest office his money can buy.
By the way, making fun of someone’s name is crass, Mr. Silk.

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