(JTA) – Republican U.S. presidential candidate Mike Huckabee cited threats from Israel’s enemies in his continued assault on the Iran nuclear deal.
A series of Twitter posts on Sunday night followed a day after Huckabee said that U.S. President Barack Obama will march Israelis “to the door of the oven.”
Bolstering his argument of the potential harm the agreement signed by Iran and world powers earlier this month would do to Israel, Huckabee tweeted quotes from Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, among others.
“It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map of the region,” read one of the posts attributed to Khamenei.
A quote attributed to Nasrallah read: “If they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”
Huckabee also said in a tweet, “Tell Congress to do their constitutional duty & reject the Obama-Kerry #IranDeal.”
In an interview Saturday with Breitbart News, Huckabee evoked Holocaust images of the ovens used to dispose of the bodies of Jews gassed in Nazi concentration camps.
“This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history,” the former Arkansas governor said. “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.”
Obama criticized Huckabee’s comments on Monday while on a visit to Ethiopia, saying they are “part of just a general pattern that we’ve seen would be considered ridiculous if it weren’t so sad.” The president added that Huckabee was making an “effort to push Mr. Trump out of the headlines,” referring to another Republican candidate, Donald Trump.
The Anti-Defamation League’s national director, Jonathan Greenblatt, called Huckabee’s comments “completely out of line and unacceptable.”
“To hear Mr. Huckabee invoke the Holocaust when America is Israel’s greatest ally and when Israel is a strong nation capable of defending itself is disheartening,” Greenblatt said. “The great tragedy of the Holocaust saw the Jews of Europe without allies and without power at the worst possible moment.”
The Democratic National Committee took issue with what it called Huckabee’s “cavalier” analogy to the Holocaust, saying such rhetoric “has no place in American politics.” Its chair, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, in a statement issued Sunday called on Huckabee to apologize to the Jewish community and the American people.