Huckabee ran against presidential hopeful John McCain in the Republican primary and has been mentioned as a possible running mate for McCain in the November elections.

After making the traditional stop at the Sderot Police Dept.’s Qassam missile “museum,” Huckabee joined members of the Hesder Yeshiva and Sderot residents for lunch in the yeshiva’s bomb shelter, where he took in a film presented by Sderot Media Center director Noam Bedein. The film recounted the events of Simchat Torah, when a Qassam missile struck the synagogue just after people had finished clearing out of the building after the celebrations.

After the presentation, Huckabee toured the yeshiva campus, which is under construction, and expressed his support and admiration for the people of Sderot.

Photo: Hamutal Ben Shitrit

“The people here are incredibly brave,” he told SMC. “It’s important that they remain steadfast and not back down. It would be a victory for terror and a loss for freedom if they did.”

He added that he hopes the current ceasefire is “not just an opportunity for [Hamas] to build up arms” in Gaza.

While Huckabee was generally careful to avoid speaking about political issues, he was not shy about sharing his ideological views on the peace process. At a press conference in Jerusalem, he said that he did not believe Israel should have to give up its land for a Palestinian state in order for peace.

Video: Meial Ohayon

“Christians and Jews share a culture of life,” he said. “The idea of destroying those who don’t agree with us is just not within us.

“We have no frame of reference for dealing with radical Islam. It’s like trying to hook up a Mac to a PC.

“I’m not saying the two cultures cannot live side by side-I’ve seen apartment buildings here where Arabs and Jews live together-but the two governments cannot.”

Ceasefire violation

The Israeli Ministry of Defense elected to close Gaza crossings to food and other goods, Wedensday, after a Qassam missile struck the Sha’ar HaNegev region Tuesday night. No injuries or damages were reported.

The attack continues a pattern of sporadic missile and mortar fire from Gaza at the western Negev since the ceasefire started June 19. In most cases, nobody has claimed responsibility.

Israel has refrained from responding militarily, but has maintained a policy of closing border crossings to goods in the aftermath.



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