Last weekend former Arkansas Governor and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee opened the oven door on President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal and let out a big blast of heat and blowback.
On Sunday, July 26, in an interview with Breitbart News, Huckabee said “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.” The metaphor used by Huckabee is that of the Nazi crematoria of World War II, which were employed in the extermination of six million Jews.
The next day Huckabee was all over broadcast and cable TV defending his criticism of the Iran deal in those terms and saw his poll numbers rise appreciably against the 17-candidate GOP pack.
No end of vituperative criticism and righteous indignant invective was inveighed against Huckabee by President Obama, others within his administration, prominent Democrats, prominent American Jewish liberals and the gaggle of cable talking heads. “How could you and how dare you compare the Iran nuclear deal to the Holocaust?” was the general refrain. Somehow Huckabee had sacrilegiously besmirched the hallowed memory of the Nazis’ victims. But did he really?
It begs the question, what is an oven exactly? We’re all familiar with coal- and wood-fired ovens, which often make the best pizza. There are electric ovens and convection ovens, toaster ovens, gas-fired ovens and microwave ovens all employing differing levels of technology to achieve the desired result of cooking whatever dish might be placed within, and sometimes you can burn a roast or casserole if the oven is too hot. The Nazis burned people in really big ovens. The main target of Nazi burning was Europe’s Jews, whom they killed with industrial efficiency with an eye towards genocide, at which they were nearly completely successful.
Hitler and his minions were unabashed and unapologetic about their stated goal of eradicating Europe’s (and even the world’s) Jews. At great cost to their war effort they pursued this goal practically until the bitter end. It was really kind of a rabid hate.
The ayatollahs along with the political and military leaders of Iran have made no bones about their admiration for the Nazis’ effort (which paradoxically they deny ever happened) and their oft publicly stated desire to complete Hitler’s work by eradicating the State of Israel and all of the six million Jews in it. This is no secret, it’s shouted in the streets of Iran, in their press, tweets and broadcasts. They provide extensive monetary and strategic backing to various heavily armed proxy terrorist groups encircling Israel with the aim of enabling them to murder as many Israelis as possible and as an advance guard for the big, final push somewhere down the road.
This is why there is a wall-to-wall consensus in Israel from the far left to the far right against President Obama’s Iran nuke deal. After the experience of World War II and decades of ethno-religious hatred against them in the Middle East, Israelis take threats of genocide seriously and don’t pooh-pooh them as fantastical.
By allowing Iran to keep their nuclear program and permitting any pretense of inspections to expire in a decade along with the repeal of economic sanctions, the return of $150 billion in frozen assets, the lifting of prohibitions against selling Iran arms and intercontinental missiles, isn’t the deal in fact enabling Iran to burn more Jews in the short term and possibly realize their stated goal of genocide against the Jewish people perhaps 10 years on?
In the only two instances where atomic weapons were used against civilian populations (Hiroshima and Nagasaki) we saw the power of the atom to burn and incinerate. While the Nazis had to turn one body at a time into powder and ash, atomic weapons can do that to tens and hundreds of thousands in an instant and cause delayed death from radiation shortly after for the survivors of such a blast. If you incinerate thousands of bodies a day manually or perhaps a million instantaneously is not the end result the same?
The real desecration of the Holocaust victims’ memory is allowing such a thing to happen again, enabling would-be genocide by caving into the demands of dictatorial bullies who are fueled by religious and racial hatred. Holocaust survivors and most Jews generally ascribe to the philosophy of “Never Again” to a Holocaust against them.
Mike Huckabee used some very blunt language to disparage a deal that puts millions of Jews in harm’s way and Israel between a rock and a very hard place defensively. When it comes to saving millions of lives perhaps diplomatic politesse is precisely the wrong tack to take and some plain speaking will both clear the air and shed more light.
For the diplomats in the White House and at Foggy Bottom this is all one big process and they’ll move on to the next treaty. For Israel and the Jewish people this is about life and death. Jews are very familiar with ovens of every caliber and would prefer not to be exposed to the heat in the Iranians’ kitchen.
By Howard Barbanel