Peter Beinart writes: Mike Huckabee’s sin was being too vivid.
Last week, after the Republican presidential hopeful said that by signing the Iran nuclear deal, President Barack Obama “would take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven,” a parade of organizations and politicians accused him of inflammatory language and bad taste. But in both the United States and Israel, Huckabee’s core assumption—that the Iranian government is genocidally anti-Semitic—is mainstream. In January, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that “The ayatollahs in Iran, they deny the Holocaust while planning another genocide against our people.” Last month, Fox News host Sean Hannity called the Iran deal “the equivalent of giving Adolf Hitler weapons of mass destruction.” The fact that a nuclear attack on Israel would also kill Palestinians, argued Texas Senator Ted Cruz recently, would not deter Tehran because “they would view the murder of those Palestinians” as “perfectly acceptable collateral damage to annihilating millions of Jews.”
Far from being marginal or extreme, Huckabee’s claim—that Iranian leaders seek another Holocaust—sits at the emotional core of the debate over the nuclear accord with Tehran. But the closer you look, the weaker that claim is. [Continue reading…]