Memo to Mike Huckabee

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Crematorium III building at Auschwitz

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Crematorium III building at Auschwitz

Crematorium III building at Auschwitz

Crematorium III building at Auschwitz

Re: Holocaust analogies

It has perhaps dawned on you by now that it wasn’t such a great idea to say that President Obama, in making that nuclear deal with the Iranians, “will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” But perhaps you don’t quite understand why:

* The ADL called the remark “completely out of line and unacceptable.”

* The American Jewish Congress went with “shockingly insensitive and unacceptable.”

* And Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer (a.k.a. “Bibi’s Brain”) declared, “These are not words that I would use or that I think are appropriate.”

OK, maybe you’re consoling yourself with the reflection that at least Sheldon Adelson and his mini-me, Zionist Organization of America president Morton Klein (who gave you the “Adelson Defender of Israel Award” two years ago), came to your defense. Billionaireless this election cycle, you’ve been tilting for Adelson’s support for some time now.  Under the circumstances, why not double down on the remark? After all, Netanyahu has for the past two years been warning that Iran is preparing for a second Holocaust.

But here’s the thing, Mike. Using Holocaust analogies in public is like using the N-word. Just as white people are not really allowed to do the latter (cf. Chris Rock), so Gentile people are not really allowed to do the former. Particularly when they do it in such a way as to suggest that Israelis are victims.

You’ve made a lot of trips to Israel. How is it that you haven’t managed to pick up on the national ideology? As in the ingrained idea that the country is all about turning passive Diaspora Jews into defenders of a homeland who won’t be marched anywhere.

I do understand where you’re coming from. I’ve lived in the South. I’ve seen how white males of a certain age can’t quite rid themselves of the paternalism that makes them feel like they’re responsible for the freedom of lesser folk.

Black Southerners don’t appreciate that feeling. And you know what? Jewish Americans don’t either.

  • Brian Chau

    Somebody replaced the letter ‘F’ for the word ‘H’ in the name, after that, it’s hard to pronounce the name.

    On a more important note, the State of Israel is a tiny piece of land in the Middle East. Compared to the vast expanse of land in the Middle East, the state of Israel in very small in size. The question is, why are people trying to divide this tiny piece of land that belongs to Israel. Why can’t these people enjoy the rest of the land outside the State of Israel and leave Israel alone?

  • Jackie Britton

    Here is an Israeli’s perspective on Mike Huckabee’s comments on Obama marching Israelis to the ovens.
    Moshe Yalon:
    “Mike Huckabee certainly did not hurt the memory of the Holocaust by saying ” The Iran nuclear deal is marching the Israelis to the door of the oven”.
    Mike Huckabee visited “Yad Vashem” several times and as well the extermination camps in Poland. He is absolutely not the guy who hits the memory of the victims.
    The opposite is the truth. Gov. Huckabee is the greatest friend of Israel and the Jewish people. So we should hug Mike Huckabee. And I say this as one who his great-grandmother and her family perished in the Holocaust, the family of my wife’s grandfather perished in the Holocaust, my name is in memory of my great-grandmother who perished in the Holocaust and in my neighborhood live in a number of Holocaust survivors who were faced death countless times.
    The expulsion from Gush Katif began exactly today, ten years ago. I think it was only Gov. Huckabee…

  • Larry

    “Evangelical Christians are not really friends of Israel, they just want someone to keep the lights on when their Messiah comes”
    -The Brink

  • Jack

    Good question, Brian. A lot more important of a question than why the well-intentioned Huckabee stuck his foot in his mouth…..

  • Jack

    Good for Moshe Yalon, but again, I think Ambassador Dermer got it about right……Huckabee’s a big boy and I’m sure will understand it’s the helpful correction of a friend.

    I also think Huckabee realizes that when it comes to Israel, nobody has a better read on Israel than Israelis.

  • Eric

    Mike Huckabee, if by chance you are reading this, don’t listen to Jack, who appreciates your willfully ignorant bigotry and pandering but is giving you the unwise and destructive cover of a true yes-man. Unlike Mark Silk, he loves your hateful guts and has a clear political agenda in mind.

    No, Mike Huckabee, if by chance you are reading this, there is only one word you need to listen to: repent. Repent now. Repent of your lies and your hate and your egotism and your self-righteousness and your idolatry. Repent by dropping out of the GOP primary and taking a vow of public silence for at least a year. Repent by spending the rest of your God-given days repairing all the damage you’ve done and would like to do in the name of Jesus. Repent not with words–no public confessionals, no tell-all books, no re-launching or re-branding yourself–but with deeds, deeds done in quiet obscurity away from your pimp, The Media. Repent and repent now.

  • Jay

    Reverend Huckabee speaks directly to God and he says that God speaks directly to him. So I doubt he will take any advice from anyone. Luckily, with every word he speaks, he reveals his unfitness for any office.

  • Ben in oakland

    I would suggest that you pray very heartily to God for that. Then I’m sure it will happen. I have never known of a grifter Who failed to give up his grift when appeaedl to by prayer and od’s word.

  • Ben in oakland

    I’d vote for him for Pharisee in chief, if the office was already filled with lifetime tenures.

  • Susan

    Evangelical Christians want a Jewish state with no Jews in it. They want all Jews to convert to Christianity, a spiritual genocide instead of a physical genocide. They are the last people who should be bringing up the Holocaust.

  • Susan

    Ben, I’ve done this before on other posts. You have no idea who the Pharisees were. It doesn’t help to use classic anti-Jewish tropes in whatever case your making. I don’t have time to go into this now, but try reading Amy Jill Levine.

  • Jack

    Ben, Susan is correct about this….I don’t believe you meant it, but using the word, “Pharisee” in that way fuels the Christendom’s sorry record of anti-Jewish prejudice. I don’t at all mean to single you out…..other posters who have been taking swipes, ironically at Christians, have deployed the same word in a pejorative manner.

  • Jack

    Susan, you’re absolutely correct about the misuse of the word, Pharisee, but you are seriously mistaken about pro-Israel evangelicals and a Jewish state.

    Both evangelicals and observant Jews are waiting for a Messiah, and while obviously they disagree on (1) who it is and (2) whether he’s come before, their description of what he will do when he comes are virtually the same in its essentials: He will defeat a worldwide attack on Israel; he will crush anti-Semitism; he will reign on David’s throne in Jerusalem over the world; he will bring peace and justice to the world.

    Now….whoever shows up and fulfills that role — be it Jesus of Nazareth or Boris of Belarus, Shmuel of Borough Park or Lawrence of London — is the real deal.

    And if it turns out to be you-know-who, do you honestly believe that he will wave his magic wand and turn Jews into something else? Will he shut down synagogues and replace them with First Baptist of Jerusalem?

    Let’s be real.

  • Glenn Harrell

    “Will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” –

    Iran is ready to play “wipe-out” on Israel. If Iran’s leaders have any say so in the matter, there won’t be any doors, ovens or marching. The analogy is more inaccurate than inappropriate.
    If the USA were next door neighbors to Iran, we too would be in its cross-hairs, more so than we already are, because the new wipe out is new school.

    America is distant from the emotional, terrorist threat of such a neighbor. No wonder we can sit back in comfort and security, then decry the brazenness of Mr. Huckabee and the unnecessary jitters of Israel.
    Mr. Huckabee is stunted with the preacher hormone and puts one too many points in his sermon these days. I suspect we will see and hear more of this.

    But Mark, your N word analogy just is wrong. First clue: you claim Chris Rock as though he is a spokesperson. Please.
    “Black Southerners and Jewish Americans” You speak for them all? I’m impressed.

  • David Lloyd-Jones


    You’ve got to remember the nutso right have strange views about Israel. They have historically been antisemitic, with Father Coughlln for their Catholics, Moral Rearmament and British Israelites for their Protestants, and a bunch of America Firsters across the board. This gave them a problem after the 1957 and the Seven Days wars: Jews were no longer wimps to be despised by the authoritarian. Israel represented Power of the sort that rightwingers worship, so a new theology had to be developed.

    End Times to the rescue! Gog and Magog, Rapture, and a whole lot of frontier buckboard silliness. In these tales, Jews have to be kept alive to take part in the Apocalypse, and only then subjected to the good ol’ convert-or-die soft shoe.

    The leadership of many of the rightwing sects have shied away from this wickedness lately, but it’s still popular with the base they fed it to.

    The Huckster just didn’t get around to the new script in time.


  • David Lloyd-Jones


    You quote Yalon as saying “..the expulsion from Gush Katif…”

    A more sensible term might have been “the withdrawal.” Our aggressive settlement. Our Defence Forces trying to make peace.