The National Jewish Democratic Council today slammed the recent comments of former Arkansas Governor and rumored 2012 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee that compared inaction surrounding America’s national debt to inaction during the Holocaust, along with his subsequent defense that his offensive rhetoric should be acceptable given his “unequalled friendship with members of the Jewish community.” In addition, the NJDC is once again calling on all potential presidential candidates to pledge not to use Holocaust references or language related to Nazis or the Holocaust - as it is deeply offensive to American Jews, and profoundly trivializes the memory of the Holocaust.
Huckabee invoked the Holocaust during an appearance over the weekend, the same weekend as Holocaust Remembrance Day and the same day on which rumored 2012 presidential candidate Representative Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) own invocation of the Holocaust took place. Yesterday, Huckabee struck back at the condemnation from the Anti-Defamation league and attempted to use the “my best friends are Jewish” defense to excuse his inappropriate comments. NJDC President and CEO David A. Harris said in response to this series of events:
“It is bewildering to me that former Governor Huckabee, with all he knows about the Holocaust, would be compelled to employ such an offensive comparison and then try to suggest that it’s acceptable given his ‘unequalled friendship with members of the Jewish community.’ Some advice for the Governor; American Jews become understandably uncomfortable when the ‘some of my best friends are Jewish’ defense is invoked,” said David A. Harris, President and CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council. “There seems to be a trend of Nazi and Holocaust comparisons among potential GOP presidential hopefuls, and it has to stop. The NJDC is calling on every single potential presidential candidate to pledge today not to use Holocaust references because they are so deeply offensive and hurtful, and because they trivialize the murder of six million Jews and others during World War II. I can’t be clearer about this; it is NEVER acceptable to invoke the Holocaust in these ways.”
This is not the first time that Huckabee has invoked the Holocaust. In June 2010, The New Yorker reported that Huckabee credits the “horror” from “the holocaust of legalized abortion” as his reason for entering politics. [The New Yorker, June 28, 2010]
The National Jewish Democratic Council calls upon all declared and undeclared candidates for the 2012 presidential election to pledge against using abusive Holocaust rhetoric. NJDC issued the same pledge during the 2010 election cycle and finds it deeply troubling that the same is required for the 2012 cycle.
It is essential to note that this cycle’s slate of declared and undeclared Republican presidential candidates contains a high number of current and former officials who have used abusive Holocaust references in the past. Notable recent cases of prospective GOP candidates invoking the Holocaust are:
He also wrote in his recent book To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine that “The secular-socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.” [Media Matters for America, May 16, 2010]
NJDC’s previous work on abusive Holocaust rhetoric can be viewed here.
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