Mike Huckabee has kicked up the hornet’s nest by claiming that the Iran deal would “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” Here’s the full quote:
“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.”
The president called the comment “ridiculous if it weren’t so sad,” Hillary Clinton declared herself “personally offended,” and Israeli leaders objected as well — noting that Israel has established the IDF just so that it can’t be “marched” anywhere. Yet arguments about Huckabee’s vivid word choice are entirely beside the point. What matters is substance, and on the substance, Huckabee is exactly right in his assessment of Iranian motives and Israel’s potential vulnerability.
How many times do Iranian officials and Iranian allies have to express genocidal intentions before we believe them? While there’s long been argument as to whether former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad actually said Israel “must be wiped off the map,” there is an enormous amount of evidence that this sentiment has been repeated (even stated in English) and amplified by Iranian officials and allies on multiple occasions. For example, the inscription below (on a missile, no less) has been translated as saying “Israel must be uprooted and wiped off [the pages of] history.”
And in the banner below, the Iranians helpfully provided their own translation:
You can see other images and translations in this excellent report from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Huckabee himself also tweeted other genocidal Iranian threats, including the Iranian Martyr Foundation’s threat “to replace Israel . . . with a big Holocaust.” Iran’s supreme leader has threatened to “raze” Israeli cities in the event of war, and Hezbollah’s leader has left no room for imagination, declaring “”If all the Jews gathered in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide. . . . It is an open war until the elimination of Israel and until the death of the last Jew on earth.” And if you think Hezbollah isn’t relevant to Iran’s plan, no lesser light than the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said, “In the near future, we will witness the destruction of the cancerous microbe Israel by the strong and capable hands of the nation of Hezbollah.”
The examples could go on and on. As strong as the IDF is, if even one nuclear weapon penetrated its defenses, the consequences would be horrific. No one has yet developed a foolproof defense to a ballistic missile — which is exactly why nations have traditionally deterred nuclear war through the doctrine of mutually assured destruction, a doctrine that has much less applicability to apocalyptic jihadists.
It’s “ridiculous if it weren’t so sad” (to echo president Obama’s words) that we let the outrage industry use tone to sidetrack a deadly serious argument about substance. Mike Huckabee correctly identified the stakes of the abominable Iran ”deal,” and given the lives at risk, who really cares if Hillary Clinton is offended? Here’s my advice to conservatives — rather than condemn Huckabee (Jeb Bush), change the topic to why we’re granting more than $100 billion in benefits to a nation that is killing American soldiers, chants “death to Israel” and “death to America” at every opportunity, and has long vowed to destroy Israel — all without stopping its nuclear program. Which is more offensive? Mike Huckabee’s remarks or the administration’s jihadist stimulus package?