President-elect Donald Trump is planning to select former Arkansas Governor and conservative Christian Minister Mike Huckabee to be the U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
Trump met with his former presidential primary foe on Friday afternoon at Trump Tower regarding the matter, a source within Trump’s transition team speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed.
According to the Daily Mail, one of Huckabee’s first assignments in beginning relations with Israel is to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “That’s going to happen,” the source said. “Governor Huckabee is going to see it through.” No other nation has its embassy in Jerusalem, though Israel’s Knesset and Supreme Court are located in West Jerusalem.
However, the Independent Journal Review cites a different source within Trump’s transition team denies that Trump has picked Huckabee.
The former governor was vague about the purpose of the meeting when he spoke on CNN and he refused to comment on any potential role inside the Trump administration. “I’m happy doing what I’m doing, he said. “My job is to listen to the president-elect. It’s his job to make decisions. I did not campaign for him because I was needing work.”
While Israel has maintained that Jerusalem is its capital, and passed a law in 1980 so declaring, Arab nations near it oppose the idea of making Jerusalem a center of power for the Jewish state. Many of them deny Israel’s right o exist at all, and most view Jerusalem as a holy city for Muslims.
The Obama administration as well as its predecessors have looked at the conflict as one needing of a resolution as part of peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine. However, earlier this month, Trump unveiled a policy on Israel which seemed skeptical of the two state solution.
Though Trump has pushed for the U.S. to extend its memorandum of understanding with Israel on its shared diplomatic and security interests, his policy on Israel seems to go beyond that by insisting “that Israel receives maximum military, strategic and tactical cooperation from the United States, and the MOU will not limit the support we give.”