Hagee and Olmert

“Then God sent a hunter. A hunter is someone with a gun and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter. And the Bible says – Jeremiah writing – ‘They shall hunt them from every mountain and from every hill and from the holes of the rocks,’ meaning there’s no place to hide. And that might be offensive to some people but don’t let your heart be offended. I didn’t write it, Jeremiah wrote it. It was the truth and it is the truth. How did it happen? Because God allowed it to happen. Why did it happen? Because God said my top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel.”

For Hagee with some other politicians, see here.

Hagee Sermon Uncovered by Talk to Action Forces McCain Repudiation

Great excitement at Talk to Action, where Bruce Wilson’s efforts at reviewing John Hagee’s many sermons finally filtered through to the MSM, obliging John McCain to repudiate the pastor. The Hagee-McCain alliance had already survived a storm when the pastor’s views on Catholicism (“the Great Whore”) had come to light; however, Hagee’s interpretation of the Holocaust were just too much to bear. Bruce dug out a sermon which Hagee explained that God had sent two people to persuade the Jews to move to Israel: a fisher, Theodore Herzl; and a hunter – Adolf Hitler. The idea that anti-Semitism is God dropping a hint to Diaspora Jews that he wants them to return to Israel is not unknown in certain strands of Christianity and Judaism, but the thought of Hitler in a divinely-appointed role is obviously going to disgust most people, and Hagee’s typically bombastic and crass delivery is guaranteed to aggravate the sensation.

However, John McCain’s relationship with Hagee is just part of a wider issue. Through “Christians United for Israel” (CUFI), Hagee has made alliances with a range of conservative figures in both the USA and Israel. Last June I blogged on a CUFI “Night to Honor Israel”; alongside McCain, participants included Newt Gingrich, Gary Bauer and Frank Gaffney. Bauer was a particular enthusiast:

Gary Bauer, who ran for the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States in 2000, also spoke at the rally, saying, “You are Ahmadinejad, Hamas, and Hizbullah’s worst nightmare, because you support Israel. They are telling you to give back land. We are telling you, don’t give back one inch.”

Max Blumenthal, meanwhile, recalls that

I watched with astonishment as [Joe] Lieberman strode to the stage, then compared Hagee to Moses (watch Lieberman’s remarks at 5:30 of my video) “I want to take to opportunity to describe Pastor Hagee in the terms the Torah used to describe Moses,” Lieberman declared. “He is an Ish Elohim. A man of God. And those words really do fit him. And I have something else,” the senator continued. “Like Moses, he’s become the leader of a mighty multitude. Even greater than the multitude that Moses led from Egypt to the Promised Land.”

Hagee himself revelled in his new-found power and status, exulting that

“the sleeping giant of Christian Zionism has awakened”

Certain Jewish leaders were also keen to share a platform:

The evening session also included greetings from President Bush and a benediction by Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg, a San Antonio Orthodox leader who has been close to Hagee, thanking God for “giving the world community a spiritual leader of the nobility, courage and wisdom of Pastor John Hagee, who personifies God’s living words.”

Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, appearing by video, told the group that Christian Zionists laid the foundation for Jewish ones.

Hagee also claims that he receives briefings from “top Israeli government officials”, who have told him about “a nuclear showdown between Iran and Israel”.

A few souls, however, have declined to squeeze into bed with him, as I also noted a year ago:

A Minnesota congresswoman declined an invitation to attend “A Night to Honor Israel,” saying the views of the event’s evangelical founder are “repugnant.”

…”Well-publicized statements by Pastor Hagee demonstrate extremism, bigotry and intolerance that is repugnant,” U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, a Democrat, said in a two-page reply declining a form invitation from Pastor Mac Hammond.

And as for Jewish involvement, the JTA reported that:

Jewish leaders who have been critical of Jewish participation in local “Nights to Honor Israel” say they have been pressured into silence.

“The pressure has been enormous,” said a prominent Jewish leader who said he was contacted by local community officials after he raised questions about a local CUFI event. “I can’t even talk about it now; I feel a real sense of intimidation because people in our own community are saying I’m opposing something that’s good for Israel, that I’m hurting Israel.”

Possibly that pressure has now eased somewhat…

UPDATE: McCain has also now repudiated Rod Parsley. Mother Jones reports:

After issuing a statement dumping Hagee, McCain told the Associated Press that he also was now refusing Parsley’s support: “I believe there is no place for that kind of dialogue in America, and I believe that even though he endorsed me, and I didn’t endorse him, the fact is that I repudiate such talk, and I reject his endorsement.” McCain and Parsley had campaigned together in February in Ohio, and at a rally McCain had hailed Parsley as “one of the truly great leaders in America, a moral compass, a spiritual guide.”

…It’s worth remembering that McCain held on to Parsley for as long as he could and that he renounced him not because of his extreme anti-Islam rhetoric–which McCain was well aware of months ago–but only because Parsley had become extremely politically inconvenient.