Israelis Argue over Hagee: MK Calls on Olmert to Cut Ties
Richard Bartholomew printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:01:38 PM EST
Israeli newspaper Haaretz carries an article by Labor MK and former Consul General in New York Colette Avital suggesting that Ehud Olmert should take a lead from John McCain:

Hagee, a clear "friend" of Israel who preaches that it must not relinquish an inch of land, declared his support for Senator John McCain in the race for U.S. president. But his latest declarations, and this latest one most of all, embarrassed McCain to the point that he renounced the reverend's support.

Is it not appropriate then to expect Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to make an unequivocal announcement that they, too, are cutting ties with Hagee and his ilk? After all, the aims of this bear hug are clear.

On the other hand, Jerusalem Post deputy editor Caroline Glick complains that AIPAC appears to have distanced itself from the pastor.

Says Glick:

This week in Washington, DC, AIPAC is hosting its annual policy conference. It will be an illustrious affair. Heavy-hitters from both American political parties will be in attendance, as will scholars and activists from Israel and the US. But one name is noticeably absent from the three-day program. John Hagee - who in three years has transformed CUFI into a grassroots pro-Israel movement that dwarfs AIPAC in size - is not on the program. And this is a horrible thing.

AIPAC's decision to shun Hagee says something terrible about the state of American Jewish politics today. Quite simply, Hagee has become a victim of liberal American Jewish leaders' decision to place their leftist political preferences above their concern for Israel's survival and for the well-being of American Jewry.

Glick claims that Hagee was targeted simply to move attention away from Jeremiah Wright, and that he was chosen because of his "avowedly anti-homosexual, anti-abortion views". Glick sees the Hagee issue as having been raised by Democrats who wished to undermine McCain; the reality, of course, was that it was raised primarily by religious-right watchers who were alarmed that an apocalyptically-obsessed conspiracy-monger such as Hagee should glean any sort of credibility from mainstream political leaders. Glick's piece was datelined 2 June, so perhaps she was unaware of Hagee's most recently discovered comments on the Jewish aspects of Hitler, Marx, and the coming gay anti-Christ.

Backing Avital's position is British-Israeli Daniel Levy of The New America Foundation. He adds:

New York Democrat Eliot Engel should also be called to task for agreeing to appear at the CUFI Summit (and he is still scheduled to do so)...Decent elected officials who reject Hagee's brand of bigotry and Armageddonist, pro-Israelism should take their cue from Representative Betty McCollum (D-MN), who declined to speak at a CUFI sponsored so-called "Night to Honor Israel" because "well-publicized statements by Pastor Hagee demonstrate extremism, bigotry and intolerance that is repugnant."

May be currently compromised through her association, as a "Hasbara Fellowship" speaker, with Waiid Shoebat and Brigitte Gabriel - both of whom have professed personal histories that have been contradicted from many quarters.

Meanwhile, given that John Hagee's Cornerstone Church members sing joyously about their expectation that Israel will be invaded and devastated, I have to wonder about the clarity of vision of Jews who associate with Pastor Hagee.

by Bruce Wilson on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 02:33:29 AM EST

is showing results.  This bit of your research appears in the Ha'aretz article, providing fodder for Avital's advocating that Olmert distance himself from Hagee:

The support of American evangelicals does not receive the necessary attention in Israel. The outrageous statement by Reverend John Hagee, an evangelist who disseminates his opinions not only in his church in Texas, but also through popular television broadcasts, is an example of extremist views that are being ignored by those who laud the support Israel gets from evangelicals.

Hagee is the founder of the Christians United for Israel lobby, and as such received the blessing of the Jewish lobby AIPAC during its annual conference last year. Hitler and the Holocaust, Hagee argues, were part of a divine plan to expel Jews from Europe and bring them to the Land of Israel. It was written about and prophesized in the Bible, Hagee says. How will God restore Jews to their homeland? asks Hagee. The answer: "through fishermen and hunters. A hunter is the one who comes with a gun and forces you; Hitler was a hunter."

by Rusty Pipes on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 02:58:02 PM EST

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