Huckabee continues assault on Iran nuclear deal’s harm to Israel

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, continued his assault on the harm the Iran nuclear deal would bring on Israel, a day after saying that President Barack Obama will march Israelis “to the door of the oven.”

In a series of tweets on Sunday night, Huckabee attempted to bolster his argument with quotes from Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other enemies of Israel.

“It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map of the region,” read one of the posts, attributed to Khamenei.

A quote attributed to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah read: “If they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”

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“Tell Congress to do their constitutional duty & reject the Obama-Kerry #IranDeal,” he also said in a tweet.

Huckabee, in an interview Saturday with Breitbart News, evoked Holocaust images of the ovens used to dispose of the bodies of Jews gassed in Nazi concentration camps.

“This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history,” the former Arkansas governor said. “It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.”

President Barack Obama criticized Huckabee’s comments on Monday while on a visit to Ethiopia, saying: “The particular comments of Mr. Huckabee are, I think, part of just a general pattern that we’ve seen would be considered ridiculous if it weren’t so sad.” He added that Huckabee was making an “effort to push Mr. Trump out of the headlines.”

The Anti-Defamation League’s national director, Jonathan Greenblatt, called HUckabee’s comments “completely out of line and unacceptable.”

“To hear Mr. Huckabee invoke the Holocaust when America is Israel’s greatest ally and when Israel is a strong nation capable of defending itself is disheartening. The great tragedy of the Holocaust saw the Jews of Europe without allies and without power at the worst possible moment, Greenblatt said.

“There is a serious debate taking place over the next five weeks within Congress over the Iran deal. We have called on all sides, regardless of whether one is liberal or conservative, to conduct that debate responsibly and civilly. That plea should apply to presidential candidates as well,” he added.

The Democratic National Committee took issue with Huckabee’s analogy to the Holocaust, saying such rhetoric “has no place in American politics.”

“Cavalier analogies to the Holocaust are unacceptable,” said the DNC’s chair, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, in a statement issued Sunday. “Mike Huckabee must apologize to the Jewish community and to the American people for this grossly irresponsible statement.”

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