While speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition Thursday, Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson pronounced Hamas, the militant Palestinian political movement that rules the Gaza strip, as hummus, the popular food dip made from chickpeas, reporters at the convention tweeted. After Carson mispronounced the name of the group the first time, Carson then referred to Hamas as “amis,” one reported tweeted.
Carson repeatedly calls Hamas, hummus at #RJCForum
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) December 3, 2015
Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007, the Guardian reported. According to one reporter, Carson eventually pronounced the name of the group right. Carson has faced criticism in the past for not having enough experience in foreign policy.
“Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East,” Duane R. Clarridge, a top adviser to Carson on terrorism and national security, has been quoted as saying.
Carson’s speech focused on the Middle East, criticizing President Barack Obama and his Justice Department for not understand the region. “The Middle East is certainly one of the most complicated regions in the world, I mean, really complicated," Carson said according to the Hill.
The European Union had continued to keep Hamas on its terrorism blacklist in March. The military wing of Hamas was put on the terrorism blacklist in 2001, and the political wing of the group was put on the list in 2003.
Carson read from prepared comments for much of the time he spoke to the group. Carson said he knew he had to leave a good impression on the group before he began his speech, the New York Times reported.
Many reporters tweeted about Carson’s mispronunciation. One tweet from former George W. Bush White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer also tweeted about the incident, remarking “Poor Ben Carson.”
“Someone should have told him how to pronounce Hamas,” Fleischer tweeted. “He sounds like he's not familiar with the group.”
Ben Carson continues to mispronounce Hamas and he is pronouncing it several different ways. Hoping someone makes a video mash up. #RJCForum
— James Hohmann (@jameshohmann) December 3, 2015
Carson "repeatedly botched the pronunciation of Hamas, making it sound instead like the chickpea dish hummus." https://t.co/hfN0FCqjUz
— Ashley Parker (@AshleyRParker) December 3, 2015
— Tal Kopan (@TalKopan) December 3, 2015