Longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas has retired after being roundly criticized for comments made to a blogger last month saying that Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go home” to Poland, Germany, and America. The video went viral Friday, and Thomas quickly apologized for the offensive tirade, saying “I deeply regret my comments.”
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) blasted Thomas on his Fox News show yesterday, calling her comments “outrageous, anti-semitic, racist, [and] indefensible.” Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister, explained Jews “are home” in Israel because the Bible says so:
HUCKABEE: There was a little bit of a lame apology given by Helen Thomas, but it was pretty lame. Her comments were outrageous, anti-Semitic, racist, indefensible. She says that the Jews ought to go home. Helen, they are home. They are home. Read Genesis 15, Exodus 23, Numbers 34, that’s why they are where they are. Helen, I’ve got a suggestion, maybe it’s time for you to go home.
While Thomas’ comments are undoubtedly offensive, Huckabee should look in the mirror before he condemns anyone for calling for the removal of a certain ethnic group from the Middle East. As the Wonk Room’s Matt Duss pointed out, Huckabee “has on numerous occasions voiced his opposition to a Palestinian state in Palestine,” suggesting that Palestinians should move “elsewhere.” “[T]he Palestinians can create their homeland in many other places in the Middle East, outside Israel,” Huckabee told the far-right WorldNetDaily. “As far as I know, no conservatives have ever criticized Huckabee for these comments, let alone called on Fox News to fire him,” Duss added.
Moreover, Huckabee’s suggestion that the Bible be used to justify international boundaries and dictate foreign policy seems to be both a violation of the separation of church and state, and dangerously out of touch with reality. Would Huckabee endorse expanding Israel to cover the entire area God promised to Abraham — which would stretch from “the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates,” including much of modern-day Egypt, Jordan, and Syria — and kick out the local populations along the way?