When Mike Huckabee said that President Obama’s foreign policy was “the most feckless in US history”, he was on solid footing. When Gov. Huckabee said that President Obama was naïve in trusting Iran, he was still on solid footing. When Gov. Huckabee said that President Obama’s deal with the Iranians was the equivalent of marching Israelis “to the door of the oven”, he stepped across the line that separates reckless political rhetoric from solid foreign policy speech.
This morning, Gov. Huckabee was the guest on Fox News’s Outnumbered. He was given the opportunity to explain why he said what he said. Unfortunately, he didn’t make the most of that opportunity. Gov. Huckabee repeatedly talked about how the Iranian government brought up the subject of the Holocaust on social media. That’s true enough but that isn’t the point. Gov. Huckabee said Iran should be believed when they say that they want to wipe Israel off the map. There’s no disagreeing with that, either.
Where he went wrong is in treating Israel like a defenseless nation that can’t survive without the United States. That’s where Israeli blow back came from:
Israeli Transport Minister Yisrael Katz said on Facebook the former Arkansas governor was “genuinely concerned” about Israel’s future but was wrong to refer to Nazi gas chambers that killed millions of Jews in voicing alarm over the July 14 accord between world powers and Iran.
Israel has called the agreement a threat to its survival and has urged U.S. lawmakers to reject the deal, saying it would give Iran a “sure path” to nuclear weapons.
“Dear Mr Huckabee, no one is marching Jews to the ovens anymore,” Katz, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party, wrote. “That is why we established the State of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces, and if necessary, we will know how to defend ourselves by ourselves,” Katz said.
Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, said in an interview with USA Today’s Capital Download program that while Israel had a “very serious disagreement” with the Obama administration over the Iranian issue, Huckabee’s remarks were inappropriate. The Anti-Defamation League called the remarks “completely out of line and unacceptable.”
Huckabee’s statements are meant to attract attention to himself after he was essentially a nobody on the trail for the last month. Apparently, Gov. Huckabee hasn’t learned that there really is something called bad publicity. Gov. Huckabee would be wise to learn the first rule of holes, which is “If you’re in a hole, stop digging.”