April 22, 2024
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April 22, 2024
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Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce Mission to Israel Features Governor Mike Huckabee

Early this month, the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce launched its first-ever “U.S.-Israel Business Alliance” mission to Israel, aimed at strengthening the U.S.-Israel economic and diplomatic relationships, and fighting the BDS movement, UN anti-Semitism and other threats to Israel and the Jewish business world. The mission was led by the Jewish Chamber’s Executive Public Policy Committee—Dr. Joseph Frager, Dr. Paul Brody, Odeleya Jacobs and Duvi Honig—and its special guest, former Arkansas governor and two-time presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

Governor Huckabee is a leading supporter of Israel and strong pro-Israel voice in the media. He first visited Israel in 1973, at age 17, and has returned approximately 100 times since.

A dozen Knesset members gathered in the Knesset’s Jerusalem Hall for a “U.S.-Israel Business Alliance” symposium. Speakers thanked Governor Huckabee and the entire Jewish Chamber delegation for displaying unapologetic U.S. support for Israel at this crucial juncture. The nickname “Huckabee the Maccabee” was an instant favorite in the room. The fact that Governor Huckabee has a particularly close relationship with incoming President Trump was particularly heartening.

Dr. Frager, a longtime pro-Israel activist, had strong words for the recent actions of the U.N. and Obama administration, calling the resolution a “mockery and travesty” and a “shot in the arm for the BDS movement.” He heralded the strength of this mission, boosted by Governor Huckabee and dozens of other participants.

Reb Duvi Honig noted the Jewish Chamber’s particular motivation to utilize its global network of Jewish community businesses and business leaders to fight BDS and other efforts to harm the Israeli economy. Reb Duvi added the importance for Israel and the Jewish people to respect Shabbat and other Torah traditions and laws, in order to be able to expect the world to respect our historical biblical connection to the land. He also highlighted the strong personal connection that the Jewish Chamber maintains with top aides to President Elect Trump, particularly Jason Dov Greenblatt Esq., and Israel Ambassador designate David Friedman.

Though the only non-Jew in the room, Governor Huckabee harped on his strong religious faith and how it shapes his view of Israel. “When I first came here, Israel was struggling to live off kibbutzim, but is now one of the most entrepreneurial nations in the history of mankind, and won many wars it shouldn’t have (by conventional measure),” the governor explained. “There is no explanation for this other than God’s unique personal involvement.”

The governor reiterated his belief that Israel has rightful sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, and warned that abandoning portions of land won’t satiate Israel haters. “The world doesn’t hate you because of where you are, but because of who you are and whose you are,” he exclaimed.

Governor Mike Huckabee, Dr. Joseph Frager and Duvi Honig paid a visit to Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the Habayit HaYehudi party. Reb Duvi reiterated the message he delivered at the Knesset and Yerushalayim municipal hall, urging Mr. Bennett to respect Torah traditions in matters of education, Shabbat and more. In a remarkable development, that very day, HaBayit HaYehudi officially joined the charedi parties in support of maintaining the religious status quo regarding the closure of Israeli businesses on Shabbat.

At the closing dinner, Governor Huckabee recounted with his trademark oratory skills the story of a father who took his 11-year-old daughter on a tour of Yad Vashem for the first time. After they walked through exhibits of the horrific events prior to and during the Holocaust, particularly what was done to Jewish children, the girl simply wrote in the museum guestbook, “Why didn’t somebody do something?”

The governor then shared that this occurred with him and his daughter Sarah. He was proud of his young daughter’s insight and how she internalized the Holocaust’s most important lesson for future generations. Sarah Huckabee is now a senior aide to President-Elect Trump and will serve in his administration. Her father expressed confidence that she will be a forceful advocate against evil, particularly those that seek to harm Israel and the Jewish people.

Governor Huckabee derided the two-state solution as “diplomatic fantasy” and confirmed the sense in the room that the incoming president will be a strong ally for Israel. “The partnership between the United States and Israel are [sic] deeper than political and economic,” he summed up. “It is based on the values of what it means to be a human being.”

By Shimmy Blum

 

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