Contact: Sarah Anne Minkin, Director of Education and Outreach
Cell: 510 599 1874
[Oakland, CA, May 22, 2008] Today, John McCain finally rejected Pastor John Hagee’s endorsement. When will the American Jewish establishment do the same?
John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), is known in the U.S. as a strong supporter of Israel. He’s very close to prominent Jewish organizations – even giving the keynote at the 2007 AIPAC conference – who promote him as a friend of Israel and Jews. In 2006, Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, hosted a briefing for Hagee when he arrived in DC with 2,000 Israel lobbyists, responding to critics, “We don’t have to be skeptical about everything, sometimes good things do happen.” (http://www.jewishaz.com/issues/story.mv?060714+preacher)
Is Hagee one of those “good things”, as Hoenlein says? And what kind of friend is he?
Rabbi Eric Yoffie, leader of Reform Jewry (as president of the Union of Reform Jews) explains that Hagee, CUFI and other Christian Zionist organizations believe that Jewish control over Israel will lead to the end-times battle of Armageddon and the return of Jesus. (http://www.jewsonfirst.org/07b/yoffie.html) In other words – they want Jews to be in Israel so that we’ll bring on the war to end all wars.
Now an old tape of Hagee has resurfaced in which he called Hitler “a hunter” who, in killing Jews who did not move to Israel, was doing God’s work. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/05/21/mccain-backer-hagee-said_n_102892.html)
Hagee, CUFI and their ilk are rigidly right-wing and staunchly opposed to any land-for-peace negotiations. They are not concerned about the lives of Jews or Palestinians. Israeli peace activist and political analyst Uri Avnery wrote about a recent visit Hagee made to Israel, saying: “… he forbade us, in the name of (his) God, to give up even one inch of the Holy Land and commanded us to fight to the last drop of (our) blood.” (http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1211059332/)
Sarah Anne Minkin, Jewish Voice Peace’s Director of Education and Outreach, points out that Hagee’s views on Hitler and Israel are not contradictory, saying “Whether Jews are victims of genocide or the rulers of a country doesn’t matter to Hagee, for whom Jewish lives – and Palestinian, for that matter – are just stepping stones on his path to personal glory.”
We note that Hagee is also famous for his slurs against Catholicism, Islam and homosexuals, among others, and his strong support for military actions against Iran.
As the new Jewish lobby organization J Street said, “Not only are John Hagee’s words [about Hitler doing God’s work] unacceptable, but wrapping them in supposed support for Israel doesn’t excuse them. In fact, Hagee’s views – from his implacable opposition to territorial concessions for peace to his outspoken support for military action against Iran – have nothing to do with Israel’s best interests and everything to do with Hagee’s own interest in promoting his movement and his own theology.” (http://www.jstreet.org/campaigns/mccain-finally-renounce-hagees-extremism)
It’s time for Jewish leaders to stand up and bring an end to their alliances with an extremist like Hagee.
As Haim Beliak and Jane Hunter of Jews on First (www.jewsonfirst.org) point out, “Most Jewish organizations favor cooperating with CUFI.”
Not this one.
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