Huckabee Bashes Obama's Stance on Israel

This story was filed by CSB Radio News correspondent Robert Berger in Jerusalem.

(AP Photo/Dan Balilty)
Former Arkansas Governor and presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee is on a solidarity visit to Israel.

Huckabee visited disputed Jewish communities in East Jerusalem and blasted the Obama administration for demanding a freeze on Israeli settlement expansion.

"How would the government of the United States feel if Prime Minister Netanyahu began to dictate which people could live in the Bronx, which ones could live in Manhattan, which ones could live in Queens, and say, you know, we only allow certain people to live in these neighborhoods," said the Republican, who now hosts his own show on the Fox News Channel.

Pictured above: Back-dropped by Israel's separation barrier, Mike Huckabee, right, walks during a tour in the West Bank village of Abu Dis, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Aug. 17, 2009.

Washington sees the settlements as an obstacle to peace, and the Obama administration has exerted increasing pressure on President Benjamin Netanyahu to stop expansion, but Huckabee said Jews should be allowed to build in their own land.

Most Israeli settlements exist inside Palestinian territory, however, with the exception of East Jerusalem, which is squarely under Israeli
control though home to many Israelis of Arab descent.

Palestinian leaders hope the capital of a future Palestinian state will be in Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, the pressure coming from Washington does seem to be having some results.

Israeli officials say they have quietly frozen new building projects in the West Bank in response to U.S. pressure.

The Obama administration has demanded a complete freeze on settlement expansion.

Israel hopes a compromise involving a halt to new projects will help heal the rift between the two countries, but current building projects are continuing and Israel won't halt any construction in disputed East Jerusalem.