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As it turns out, he says this sort of thing a lot.
In an interview with Breitbart published Saturday, Huckabee said that President Obama, as part of the agreement between six Western powers and Iran to limit its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, would “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.”
The Israeli government strongly opposes the Iran deal, fearing that its failure would embolden Iran to finally seek a nuclear bomb and thereby imperil the Jewish state. Huckabee’s comment was clearly aimed at die-hard pro-Israel voters, many of whom tilt conservative against the overall Democratic leanings of Jewish Americans.
AIPAC, the most powerful pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. and a fierce critic of the deal, did not respond to a request for comment about Huckabee’s remarks.
The former governor’s Holocaust metaphor met with widespread condemnation, including by many of Israel’s staunchest defenders, like the Atlantic commentator Jeffrey Goldberg.
Among other things, Mike Huckabee doesn’t understand Israel’s ethos and raison d’etre. No one can march Israelis to the oven doors.
— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) July 27, 2015
President Obama responded to Huckabee’s comment during a news conference in Ethiopia. Huckabee’s rhetoric, the president said, was “part of a general pattern that would be considered ridiculous if it weren’t so sad.”
The governor responded to Obama’s criticism on Twitter, reiterating that the Iran deal was a bad idea but not addressing his Holocaust analogy.
Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)
Eric Geller is a politics reporter who focuses on cybersecurity, surveillance, encryption, and privacy. A former staff writer at the Daily Dot, Geller joined Politico in June 2016, where he's focused on policymaking at the White House, the Justice Department, the State Department, and the Commerce Department.