Mike Huckabee: Jewish people appreciated my Holocaust remark
Mike Huckabee said that Jews are happy about his charge that President Barack Obama is marching Jews “to the door of the oven” by inking a nuclear deal with Iran.
“The response from Jewish people has been overwhelmingly positive,” the former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate said on “The Today Show” Tuesday morning.
Huckabee said those Jews who aren’t happy are Democrats, and they “just need to go back and read what the Iranians themselves said. They said that we have developed the missiles that will replace Israel with a big Holocaust. That’s their words.”
Huckabee said he has received support from Holocaust survivors and their families for calling out a bad deal.
But Huckabee’s comments have been criticized by prominent members of the Jewish community, including those who vehemently oppose the nuclear agreement with Iran.
On Monday, Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer told USA TODAY’s Susan Page that Huckabee’s language was not appropriate.
“Look, we have a very serious disagreement with the administration on a very serious issue,” Dermer said. “But what I don’t doubt is the sincerity of the president or his team when they say they believe this deal not only makes America safe but makes Israel safe. Where we disagree is the judgment of actually what this deal is going to do.”
New York Rep. Eliot Engel, one of the most vocal supporters of Israel in Congress, also condemned Huckabee’s comments in an interview with The Washington Post’s “The Plum Line Blog.”
“Mike Huckabee has been a strong supporter of Israel, and I welcome his support,” Engel said. “I do think his choice of words was less than smart. I don’t think that we should trivialize the Holocaust or compare everything to the Holocaust. I think he meant to be helpful, but I was not comfortable with the wording.”
Over the weekend, The Anti-Defamation League, an advocacy group combating anti-Semitism, sharply criticized Huckabee’s comments.
In a statement on their website, the group said,”Israeli military and security officials have repeatedly said the Obama Administration has been as strong as any other American administration in keeping Israel secure … 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.”
Toward the end of the “Today” show segment, host Matt Lauer asked Huckabee: “Answer the critics governor, who say that you and some other Republican candidates are doing and saying anything right now simply to be heard over the roar of Donald Trump. Is there some truth to that?”
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