President Donald Trump's move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is something that every president promised and that should have been done long ago, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Wednesday.
"That is, to recognize that Jerusalem has been the capital of only one people over the past 4,000 years and that's the Jewish people," Huckabee told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program.
"It has never been the capital for any other people."
Palestinians are a "relatively new creation" that didn't come into bearing until 1963, when Yasser Arafat took that name, said Huckabee.
"This is where the Jewish state should have its undisputed capital," said Huckabee. "It's historic indigenous land. And it's the right thing to do and it was the right thing to do over 20 years ago when presidents started saying they would do it."
Trump took the action he did, said Huckabee, because "he has the courage others didn't — [that] is the pure and simple answer. The reason they always pulled back because they were told if they did, you are going to create a very tense situation."
However, the situation is already tense in the region, and violence never subsided, said Huckabee.
"Every time Israel has made concessions, and they have made unbelievable concessions, they got nothing in return except more contempt, more violence, and more outrage from the very people that they were supposed to be helping," he added.
The Palestinians talk about how they want peace, but they need to make steps too, said Huckabee.
"Quit naming streets and schools after terrorists," he told the program. "Quit giving financial payments, including lifetime benefits and salaries, to the families of terrorists who kill Jews. That's a good start. Until then, don't talk about the peace process because there isn't one."
There has been much blowback about the decision, and Huckabee said he's a little surprised that Pope Francis has spoken out against it.
"I'm not Catholic so I guess it's not fair for me to try to judge what the pope said," said Huckabee.
"But the pope — this is a bold statement — the pope is wrong about this, pure and simple, the pope is wrong. He cannot point to the fact that this city, Jerusalem, has ever been the capital or the home base for any people other than the Jewish state.
"It just hasn't. It's been their capital singularly in 4,000 years of the time that this city has existed since King David. It's just that simple."
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