Mike Huckabee: “The Iran deal is marching the Israelis to the door of the oven”

If Mike Huckabee ever wonders why Jews don’t vote Republican, this is why Jews don’t vote Republican.

In an interview published by Brietbart on Saturday, Huckabee attacked President Obama’s recently agreed-upon nuclear deal with Iran by saying that (emphasis added), “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.”

Huckabee then proudly reproduced the line on Twitter:

As a Jew, this is beyond infuriating. Of course, Huckabee doesn’t care about me; he’s trying to rally Evangelical support in an attempt to break through Trump-mania. But still, even for Huckabee — who has a history of saying glaringly offensive and destabilizing things about the Middle East — this is really something.

For starters, the Iran deal is actually pretty good, which makes criticism of it in such stark terms absurd on its face. Those of us who actually want peace in the Middle East have reached a relative consensus around the idea that the deal is about as good as could be reached under the negotiating circumstances.

In other words, there’s a reason why American Jews are more likely than non-Jews to both have an opinion about and support the deal.

But Israel’s government, which is arguably the most conservative government the country has ever had, didn’t want a negotiation. They wanted a war, and Republicans — particularly Evangelical nudniks like Huckabee — are happy to oblige. Here’s why:

Conservative Christian ideology in the Middle East comes straight out of the Book of Revelation, which, depending on how you read it, stipulates that the End Times will begin when 12,000 members of each of the tribes of Israel re-convene in Zion. This will set events into motion that will result in both Armageddon and the Rapture, in which those who truly believe in Christ will be teleported by Jesus straight to Heaven. The rest of us will have to fight it out on the smoldering hellscape that remains.

Sounds great.

So when Mike Huckabee says what would otherwise be patently absurd things about the Middle East — that Palestinians literally don’t exist; that a two-state solution means two governments running the same set of land; that the Iran Deal is the precursor to a second Holocaust — he isn’t doing it out of concern for the Jewish people. He’s just in a rush to get to Heaven, and we’re his ticket to the Jesus-mobile that will take him there and leave the rest of us behind.

Even by Biblical standards, this fairy tale is especially insane, so most of the time it’s easy enough to laugh off. Even though the whole concept is fundamentally anti-Semitic — the story ends with the Christians ascending to Heaven and the Jews (as always) to blame for having brought on the apocalypse — we don’t go about our days as if people actually believe this kind of nonsense.

But an alarmingly high percentage of Americans do. And when Christian Zionists like Huckabee proudly appropriates the darkest corners of Jewish history in an attempt to dog whistle to Americans’ religious agitations, the fairy tale gets political legs. That’s when the joke stops being funny. Invoking the Holocaust in hopes of starting the holy war to end all holy wars doesn’t make you a concerned ally; it makes you a schmuck.

Of course, in Huckabee and other Evangelicals’ framework, the opinions of American Jews don’t matter. Or they would, but too many of us self-described Jews are in fact fakers who skew the poll numbers. We don’t dogmatically support the Israeli government and we don’t want to reconvene in Zion to bring about the Rapture, so we aren’t real Jews.

Mike Huckabee knows nothing about our religion, and he knows nothing about our culture.

And he’s a goyische putz.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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