Huckabee says US should worry more about hostages than pressuring Israel: ‘This is war’

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) argued that the United States should be worrying more about the remaining hostages taken by Hamas and less about pressuring Israel to agree to a cease-fire, saying “this is war.”

Huckabee joined NewsNation Tuesday morning, saying he has visited Israel “over a hundred times,” as recently as December when he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He criticized President Biden for the rising tensions between the allied countries, which both have citizens still in Hamas’ control.

“This is like Joe Biden would’ve gone back in history and said ‘let’s cancel D-Day because it’s really not going to be pretty,’” he said. “No, it isn’t. This is war. And a reason it’s a war is because Hamas butchers went over and slaughtered innocent Israeli citizens on the holiest day of their week and we’ve still got hostages.”

Biden spoke with Netanyahu Monday, marking the first time the two have spoken since Biden criticized the prime minister for “hurting Israel more than helping.” It also followed a dramatic speech from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). in which he called on Netanyahu to hold new elections.

Since Hamas invaded Israel on Oct. 7, killing more than 1,200 people and taking more than 200 hostages, Israel has launched a deadly and destructive counteroffensive. More than 31,000 Palestinians have been killed, the majority women and children, the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry reports.

During their conversation, Biden emphasized the U.S.’s ongoing support for Israel in its mission to defeat Hamas, but said the country needs to do it in a “coherent and sustainable” way, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday.

Huckabee questioned why the Biden administration isn’t more focused on the U.S. citizen hostages, and criticized Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken for saying Israel must find a way to “feed these people and clothe them.”

“It’s not Israel’s responsibility to do that. And I want to know why aren’t the Egyptians, the Jordanians, the Emiratis, the Qataris, how come they’re not being asked to take this burden? They’re the ones who helped finance it. What about the Iranians? We’re giving them money,” he said.

“We oughtta be giving them grief. This is an insanity played out on our stages and I’m just stunned that the U.S. government thinks that what the U.S. government thinks we oughtta do is pressure Israel. We’re pressuring the wrong side here,” Huckabee continued.

Biden and Netanyahu’s conversation included a lengthy discussion about Israel’s plans to invade Rafah, a city in Gaza that is near Egypt and is housing millions of people who fled other war-torn areas of the enclave. The U.S. has warned Israel against conducting a military operation in Rafah and Israel has agreed to send officials to Washington, D.C. to discuss potential alternatives.

Huckabee argued that Biden won’t give any invasion plan a green light because he is “thinking politically, he’s not thinking principally.”

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