WASHINGTON – Former Arkansas Governor, and Republican candidate for president, Mike Huckabee recently made offensive and inappropriate comments comparing President Obama’s negotiations with Iran to the beginning of the Holocaust. Following the President’s reaction to these statements, Gov. Huckabee as well as several other candidates in the Republican primary doubled-down on this analogy. Interfaith Alliance has a long history of asking people in public life to refrain from misusing the Holocaust and other Nazi rhetoric in this way. In response to these latest comments, Rabbi Jack Moline, executive director of Interfaith Alliance, released the this statement:
“I am appalled that Mike Huckabee would invoke the Holocaust for his political gain; I am disgusted that he, after hearing passionate critiques from so many in the Jewish community, is waffling about the language he used and defending this sentiment. The only acceptable thing to do now is apologize.
“The Holocaust was a historically unique event that ultimately resulted in the death of six million Jews. To use it as a rhetorical device on the campaign trail is to misunderstand history and disrespect the memory of those who died. Having lived and worked in the Jewish community my entire life, I know how fresh the devastation of the Holocaust still is for so many. He should know better as a pastor than to exploit the sacred memory of others for political purposes and to then use sophistry to defend his insensitivity. There is, quite simply, no excuse for rhetoric of this nature.
“Sadly Governor Huckabee has dragged too many of his Republican colleagues into this debate: with candidates like Senator Rick Santorum and Senator Ted Cruz defending his rhetoric, and Governor Jeb Bush denouncing it. It is deeply unsettling that so many candidates for the highest office in the land cannot see through Governor Huckabee’s rhetoric for the canard that it is. There is clearly a debate to be had about the Iran deal, but we should all agree the Holocaust has no part in it.”
Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit www.interfaithalliance.org.