“We really haven’t even heard language like that from Prime Minister Netanyahu,” CNN’s Elisa Labott noted yesterday after Mike Huckabee’s comments to Breitbart on the Iran deal. On Saturday, Huckabee told Alexander Marlow on their Sirius-XM show that the deal would “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” The Holocaust reference provoked an immediate backlash in the political world and on social media, but it didn’t bother Huckabee:
Governor Huckabee didn’t pull any punches when talking about Obama’s Iran nuclear deal: “This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. 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. This is the most idiotic thing, this Iran deal. It should be rejected by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and by the American people. I read the whole deal. We gave away the whole store. It’s got to be stopped.”
Despite an avalanche of criticism, including for “politicizing the Holocaust,” Huckabee doubled down a day later:
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) July 26, 2015
A number of people may have considered this an inappropriate reference, but Jeff Dunetz is not one of them:
I happen to agree with Debbie Wasserman Schultz, cavalier analogies to the Holocaust are unacceptable, in the past I have criticized both Republican Randy Weber (R-TX), and Democrat Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) for caviler and inappropriate holocaust analogies.
On the other hand Governor Huckabee’s analogy is very appropriate.
The Iran deal leaves Israel under the threat of a nuclear holocaust. At best it allows Iran to develop nuclear weapons in ten years. If it cheats the weapons will be built earlier. Since Iran has threatened to destroy Israel over and over again during the past decade, yes this deal may lead to the death of the 8.3 million people living in Israel. Or to put it another way the P5+1 deal will “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.”
Analogies work only as well as the relationship between the two scenarios analogized. It’s nonsensical to claim that opposing an Israeli policy — let’s say the wall, for instance — is the same thing as turning a blind eye to the Holocaust. The Iran deal hits closer to the mark, although it may still be a bit overwrought, as the Israelis have a lot more resources now than they did in 1930s Europe to defend themselves.
A better analogy, at least in my opinion, would be Munich, with Israel having been assigned the role of Czechoslovakia. The West created Czechoslovakia as a redoubt to blunt future German warmaking, a mountain fortress to guarantee stability and a firm defense against Germany. Czechoslovakia played its part well, becoming a relatively bright spot of multicultural democracy. Just as soon as Germany became a real threat, though, the West threw its ally to the wolves to relieve themselves of the burden of having to enforce a post-Versailles order in order to gain a few more months of an illusory peace.
Barack Obama and John Kerry aren’t marching the Israelis to the oven door, but they’re pushing them to Munich at the very least. And the Israelis won’t be the only ones to pay for it, just as the Czechoslovakians were just the appetizer at Munich.