Huckabee attends groundbreaking for Jerusalem neighborhood

Potential Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee attended a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday for a new Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem. 

Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and 2008 presidential candidate, made the stop during his 13th visit to Israel. While there, he said there should be no dispute over where Jews are able to live.

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"It is inconceivable in many ways that we would have to even argue and debate whether or not Israelis could live in Israel, not just in parts of Israel but anywhere in Israel they wished to live," Huckabee said, according to the Jerusalem Post. "I cannot imagine as an American being told that I could not live in certain places in America because I was Christian, or because I was white, or because I spoke English. I would be outraged if someone told me that in my country, I would be prohibited and forbidden to live in a part of that country, for any reason."

Huckabee's statements could offer insight on how he could treat the issue on the campaign trail.

Israeli construction in East Jerusalem has long been a contentious topic in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which is currently stalled. 

East Jerusalem is the proposed capital city of a Palestinian state in several plans for a two-state solution. Israeli construction there has roiled the Obama administration in the past, and it could further derail the peace negotiations. 

But Huckabee and many in the administration of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly support the expanded construction.

Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz said at the ceremony that Jerusalem construction is "not an impediment to peace, it brings it closer," the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported. Hershkowitz added that the more Israel builds "the more peace there will be."

The Jerusalem Post reported that Huckabee will also lead a group of Christian pilgrims on a tour of the country later this week.