- Dry Bones Cartoon in the Jerusalem Post
- McCain is wrong to reject Pastor John Hagee by Ed Koch- June 2, 2008
- I Stand with Pastor John Hagee By Shlomo Riskin- June 2, 2008
- Our World: Jews united for Israel's friends - Caroline Glick - The Jerusalem Post- June 2, 2008
- Hagee was, and wasn't, wrong on Holocaust -Jeff Jacoby- The Boston Globe - June 1, 2008
- Hagee, Hitler, and the Holocaust by Joel Mowbray - Townhall.com - May 30, 2008
- John Hagee, the Holocaust, and Me: Thinking about Allies by Daniel Pipes- May 29, 2008
- Hagee supports the Jewish people - Rabbi Leonard Oberstein - The Baltimore Sun - May 29, 2008
- Melvin Dow Statement Concerning Pastor John Hagee- May 28, 2008
- Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors Los Angeles Stands with Pastor John Hagee
- Letter of Support from Leading figures in Netanya Academic College - May 27, 2008
- Criticism on the critics By Dr. David Altman, Senior Vice-President Netanya Academic College - May 27, 2008
- The New Inquisition -David Brog- The American Thinker -May 27, 2008
- God, the Holocaust and a Pastor - on the Dennis Prager Show - May 27, 2008
- 5 questions about Pastor Hagee and the Holocaust - Q & A with David Brog- Ha'aretz - May 25, 2008
- Rabbi Scheinberg's Statement - May 23, 2008
- Throwing stones at John Hagee - Joel Mowbray- The Washington Times - May 15, 2008
- Reject Yoffie, Embrace Christian Zionists - Michael Jacobs - The Atlanta Jewish Times - April 18, 2008
- ZOA PRAISES PASTOR HAGEE'S SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL- April 11, 2008
- Pastor Hagee and Israel-- Letter to the Editor - The New York Times - April 10, 2008
ADL Welcomes Pastor Hagee's Clarification of Remarks on Jews and the Holocaust
Mr. Foxman issued the following statement On June 13, 2008
We welcome Pastor Hagee's letter clarifying his views on Jews, the Holocaust and Israel. We appreciate his regret over the pain his statements may have caused to any in the Jewish community. We value his acknowledgement that the Holocaust was a tragedy unique in its evil and horror and the limits of our understanding in seeking to comprehend the mind of God.
Pastor Hagee has devoted his life to combating anti-Semitism and supporting the State of Israel. We are grateful for his efforts to eradicate anti-Semitism and to rally so many in the Christian community to stand with Israel.
We look forward to continuing to work with Pastor Hagee to promote dialogue between Christians and Jews based on mutual respect, reconciliation and the recognition of God's eternal covenant with the Jewish people.
Going to War Against Your Friends - Rabbi Aaron D. Rubinger- June 10, 2008
Deuteronomy 21: 10 (“Ke Teze”) begins “When you go out to war against your enemies …..” Rabbinic commentators have asked: “Why must the Torah state ‘against your enemies’? Who else would you go to war against?!”. Apparently, the Torah felt it was necessary to add those words “against your enemies” lest, in foolishness, we go to war against those who are our friends. The great wisdom of this Torah verse, sadly, has been demonstrated by those in our Jewish community who have wrongfully gone on the attack against Pastor John Hagee, one of Israel’s greatest friends in the Christian world.
What exactly is a “friend?” My favorite definition of a friend is the one “who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” The rest of the world walked out on Israel when the Israeli government took the wise and necessary step of bombing Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981. That worldwide hysteria against Israel for undertaking a military action necessary for its national security must have come as a shock to the Jewish State. Where were Israel’s friends and supporters to defend Israel’s action? Sadly, they were nowhere to be found. Yet a brave and solitary voice came forth from San Antonio, TX., that of Pastor John Hagee who stood up for Israel, defended Israel, in fact, applauded Israel.
Since then Pastor Hagee has repeatedly proven himself not only to be a great friend to Israel but to the Jewish people. As important as Pastor Hagee’s enormous amount of fundraising has been for Israel’s social needs, far more significant has been his long time political support, especially his creation of Christians United For Israel, the most important and influential Evangelical voice in Washington DC. Pastor Hagee created CUFI precisely in order to prevent a second Holocaust perpetrated against the Jewish people by the virulent anti-Semitic regime in Iran. What dearer a friend could we Jews have in this world?
Those who would so eagerly seize upon a single statement - one that is theologically troubling for those of us who have departed from ancient Biblical belief - and to exploit that statement in order to expunge an entire lifetime of devotion and dedication to Israel’s survival, are either fools, or else have a particular political agenda that blinds them to just how critical John Hagee’s friendship has been and still is for the State of Israel.
I have and will continue to have profound gratitude to Pastor Hagge for his genuine friendship and sincere love of Israel and the Jewish people. We Jews have so few true friends in this world that to go on the attack against one of our dearest friends strikes me as being so bizarre that it borders on the suicidal. I hope that Pastor Hagee is aware of how deeply appreciated and loved he is by the people of Israel. May God bless him and strengthen him for all that he is doing to safeguard Jewish lives.
Rabbi Aaron D. Rubinger
Senior Rabbi Congregation Ohev Shalom
Stand with Pastor Hagee By Charles Jacobs, President
The David Project Center for Jewish Leadership
Published in the Boston Jewish Advocate - June 11, 2008
Did my teacher, someone I so deeply respected, actually imply that G-d was in some way responsible for the Holocaust? I was upset and confused.
Isador Twersky, beloved professor at Harvard, the Talner Rebbi, whose writing on Maimonides I had pondered with a seriousness I had not expended on other texts, was teaching us about theodicy, the theological effort to reconcile the existence of evil with the existence of a beneficent G-d. Here’s the problem: The suffering of the innocent - earthquakes, polio, famines, pogroms, and the Holocaust - occurs in a world in which either there is or is not G-d. If you believe there is an all-powerful G-d, you cannot deny that He authors or at least allows evil. Why? As I recall it, Rabbi Twersky’s preferred answer was that God’s gift to us of free will meant that man could chose to do evil, even genocide. That didn’t end my unease.
Besides, religious Jews believe that Jewish suffering is a punishment from G-d. It is a concept daily rehearsed in the central Shema prayer. But the unprecedented blow of the Shoah left many (often angrily) refusing to apply it to this worst case.
But not all: Many Rabbis have said G-d allowed the Shoah because so many European Jews assimilated. Still, most religious Jews prefer to hear the view that we just don’t know the reason. That, after all, was G-d’s answer to Job.
In the sermon that is getting him pummeled, John Hagee, the Christian Zionist leader who is rallying millions of Evangelicals for Israel, was much less judgmental than those rabbis. The Holocaust happened, he surmised, not because the Jews misbehaved, but because G-d wanted to transform the status of world Jewry, to be stateless no more. Sound theology? I think not. But surely it’s not hateful or anti-Jewish.
Yet many people, among them Jews who dislike religious Christians and are embarrassed by passionate Christian support for Israel, and others who saw an opportunity to help their favored candidate, all have erupted in a collective gloat: “McCain too has a hateful preacher.”
But Hagee is not that. He is a good man and a good friend. Even if he differs from most Jews on social issues and even if we disagree about theology.
Abandoning one’s friends for political expediency is wrong. John Hagee suffers for defending the Jewish people: he’s gotten credible Nazi death threats in Texas; he continues to receive harsh barbs by other Christians for his insistence on NOT “witnessing” to Jews, and he has suffered attacks from Jews who wrongly insist (they just “know”) that he’s in this to convert us or to hasten the Endtime… But they don’t know, yet they say it anyway.
I’ll stand by John Hagee, not because of his views on social issues or theology, but because he stands with us - Israel and the world’s Jews in this difficult time. Pastor Hagee is being defamed. Who would we be if we do not stand by him?
Rabbi David Zaslow- Havurah Shir Hadash- June 10. 2008
As you know the festival of Shavuot has just ended for the Jewish people. It is a time when Jews celebratd the receiving of Torah on Mt. Sinai more than 3,300 years ago. And, of course, it is related to Pentecost. So we both count to fifty: 50 days after leaving Egypt for Jews, 50 days after the resurrection for Christians. Our rabbis teach that by counting the days we are, in effect, saying to G-d that we want everyday to count.
I think the same principle holds true about those people we respect we need to let them know they count. Well, Pastor Hagee you count! From the day I read your book in the late 1980’s called “Should Christians Support Israel” I knew that I had discovered a true and courageous friend of the Jewish people. I also knew what great risks you have taken within the Church community in your unwavering support for Jews and Israel.
It was so, so sad for me to see the way Moveon.org and some in the media have taken your words out of context, and how they distorted them on some news reports. I was appalled and saddened that the words of a true friend of the Jewish people could be so distorted. Your words expressed a view that was no different than our great Talmudic sages expressed when trying to understand human tragedy.
I just wanted to send you this brief note of support, and to let you know that you are in my prayers, and in the prayers of tens of thousands of Jews around the world. You are my hero, and I believe that G-d will transform what has to be a painful moment in your ministry into healing. May G-d bless you and keep you always!
FROM THE MOUTHS OF MINISTERS -Rabbi Avi Shafran- The Texas Jerusalem Post- June 6, 2008
“Tonight I humbly ask forgiveness of the Jewish people for every act of anti-Semitism and the deafening silence of Christianity in your greatest hour of need during the Holocaust.”
Those words were spoken before a crowd of several thousand Jews attending an AIPAC Policy Conference in March, 2007. The speaker was Pastor John Hagee, the evangelist who heads the group Christians United for Israel the very same Pastor Hagee whom Reform Rabbi Eric Yoffie now accuses of “insult[ing] the survivors” of the Holocaust.
Rabbi Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, was referring to a speech Pastor Hagee made about a decade ago, about Jeremiah’s prophecy that G-d would one day “bring the Jewish people again unto their land that I gave unto their fathers” (16:15). In the next verse G-d proclaims that He will send “many fishers” and then “hunters.” The latter word was interpreted by Mr. Hagee as referring to Hitler, leading the pastor to regard the Holocaust as part of a Divine strategy to move Jews to the Holy Land.
One needn’t agree with the pastor’s take on history; or accept his assumption that simple people can identify events with prophecies; or even consider him to be in command of the facts (in his speech, he has Theodore Herzl, a resolutely secular Jew, invoking Divine command as the reason Jews should move to Palestine). But nothing in fact could be more Jewish than to accept that, no matter how inscrutable, G-d is just; and that as we look into the maw of tragedy we are to look inward as well.
And so, while the Reform rabbi may have seen the Christian minister’s words as “an affront” to those who perished in the Holocaust, I saw only an attempt, imperfect but without malice, to discern the fulfillment of a Jewish prophet’s words in recent history.
It is possible that Rabbi Yoffie’s harsh judgment of Pastor Hagee’s sermon reflects a broader disconnect between the two gentlemen. The Reform leader has long disdained the pastor’s politics. Hagee, after all, is a social conservative, believes that Iran should be militarily disabled and strongly opposes a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. As such, his position profile is something of a reverse image to that of the Reform movement.
The Jewish clergyman might also have resented the Christian one’s reference, earlier this year at a Reform temple in Los Angeles, to the object of Christian veneration as “a Reform rabbi” (intended as a compliment, no doubt).
But one suspects that what most profoundly divide the two clergymen are issues of theology. It is the pastor’s belief, but apparently not entirely the rabbi’s, that: The Torah is the word of G-d (“Truth is not what you think it is. Truth is what the Torah says it is”); G-d chose and charged the Jewish People with heeding His laws (“[The Jews are] the chosen people, a cherished people… with an eternal covenant that will stand forever”); and the Torah explicitly warns us of the repercussions of forsaking our mission.
That latter thought is in fact recalled at each Jewish festival, when Jews include in their prayers the words “Because of our sins were we exiled from our land…” It is, moreover, the dominant motif of the liturgy of the annual Jewish mourning-day, Tisha B’Av.
As it happened, the very Sabbath following Rabbi Yoffie’s rebuke of Pastor Hagee, Jews the world over read one of the two portions of the Torah that relate how the Jewish People’s refusal to honor their holy mission will result in the loosening of the reins holding evil at bay. The paragraphs speak of punishments so terrible they are read in an undertone. But they nonetheless must be read, audibly and carefully, because they speak to most important Jewish fundamentals: that the Torah’s laws are real, and that it is built into the very fabric of the world that the Jews must heed them. Those who do evil, Pharaoh, Hitler, et al, are fully culpable for their acts “Merits are brought through the meritorious,” says the Talmud, “and iniquity through the iniquitous” but calamity is not causeless.
It would appear that Rabbi Yoffie does not accept these truths. He believes, as he has written, that Jews “must examine each mitzvah [Torah commandment] and ask the question: 'do I feel commanded in this instance…?’”
Thus, at a recent Reform convention, he could disparage what he called “the Shabbat of eighteenth-century Europe… an endless list of Shabbat prohibitions,” and proudly recall how “we fled that kind of Shabbat, and for good reason.”
Many of us Orthodox Jews tend to not be comfortable with Christian evangelists. Most, after all, want Jews to accept Christianity, which a Jew is enjoined against doing, even on penalty of death. Although Reverend Hagee has clearly stated that he has no such designs, he nonetheless remains a Christian evangelist. And for Biblical interpretations, we Jews look elsewhere.
At the same time, though, an inescapable irony emerges here:
Interpretations of Biblical prophecies aside, the pastor’s approach to Torah (that it is true), Jews (that they are chosen to serve G-d) and history (that it is Divinely guided) is the Jewish one; and the rabbi’s, tragically, is not.
2:02 PM 6/6/2008
McCain is wrong to reject Pastor John Hagee by Ed Koch- June 2, 2008
Senator John McCain was wrong to reject the endorsement of Texas evangelist Rev. John Hagee.
Several years ago Rev. Hagee delivered a sermon that was caught on tape in which he preached, "Then God sent a hunter. A hunter is someone with a gun, and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter. 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."
Anyone hearing the tape would conclude that Hagee is hostile to the Jews, but nothing could be further from the truth. He and his congregants are among Israel's strongest supporters. For religious reasons, they want Israel to rule supreme over all of the lands that made up the ancient Jewish kingdoms of Israel and Judea. Evangelicals believe that the Messiah - Jesus Christ - cannot return to the earth until the Jews return to the land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael), they having been expelled by the Romans in 70 AD after the Second Temple -- the one built by Herod -- was destroyed.
Christian fundamentalists believe that every word of the Old and New Testaments represents the will of God. Other Christians believe that the words were inspired by God, but written by humans, and therefore are fallible. Still others believe that the Bible, while sacred, is comprised of ancient myths and allegories and is intended to teach.
Rev. Hagee, being a fundamentalist, believes that each word is the word of God, and that everything that occurs on Earth happens as a result of God's direction. Events caused by people like Hitler, for some fundamentalists, are explained as a punishment visited by God on Jews who had fallen away from the faith and did not follow all of God's mandates.
Other fundamentalists would not accept that view, believing instead that while God makes it possible for one to do evil, He is angry when such evil is committed. The evildoer cannot be excused by saying, "God made me do it," because human beings have free will. Finally, as a friend and scholar said, "We don't know why God does what He does. Look at a rug on the reverse side and you see inexplicable knots of wool, while on the front, there is a beautiful pattern."
Rev. Hagee apparently believes that Hitler was used by God to bring the Jews back to the Promised Land.
After enormous pressure from those comparing Rev. Hagee to Senator Obama's pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, John McCain rejected Hagee's endorsement, stating that Hagee's views as expressed in the years-old sermon being distributed on the web are "crazy." McCain also said, "Obviously, I find these remarks and others deeply offensive and indefensible, and I repudiate them."
Hagee was not praising Hitler the monster, he was simply offering the fundamentalist opinion that Hitler was used by God to cause the creation of a Jewish state to which the Jews of the world would return.
Hagee's followers have supported the State of Israel in many tangible ways. Evangelicals continue to visit Israel as tourists even during the most dangerous times, which is more than can be said for some Diaspora Jews.
It has become fashionable among liberals, including Jews, to ridicule and denounce Hagee and other fundamentalists. I do not. I appreciate their support of the State of Israel and thank them for their enormous contributions to the Jewish state.
This is not to say that I agree with Rev. Hagee's view of Hitler or his other views. For example, I strongly disagree with Rev. Hagee's statement that Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for homosexual sin in New Orleans. I also deplore his reference to the Roman Catholic Church as "the great whore," for which he has since apologized.
In this dangerous world, Christians and Jews must come together to fight our common enemies. I've been working for years to strengthen the Christian-Jewish alliance, and I intend to continue to do so.
Ed Koch is a former Mayor of New York City and writes for Family Security Matters.
I Stand with Pastor John Hagee By Shlomo Riskin- June 2, 2008
Pastor John Hagee is a towering leader in the Evangelical Church who has dedicated a great part of his enormously successful ministry to reaching out in love and loving-kindness to the Jewish people and the State of Israel. He has admirably defended our right to our historic homeland even when our enemies have attempted to disgorge us from our homes and drive us into the sea; he has praised the Lord for having imbued us, the "post-Holocaust dry bones of Ezekiel," with renewed life and vigor even when our arch-enemy and the arch-enemy of the free world has called us a "stinking corpse." He has organized Christian lobby groups for the only true democracy in the Middle East across the length and breadth of the United States even when a former American President and professors from Harvard and Chicago Universities have denounced our own lobbying efforts as un-American and anti-Democratic.
Pastor Hagee has expressed his profound affection for us even when it has been most unpopular to do so. Can we, the recipients of his heart and goodwill, dare be silent now, when the political frenzy of primary elections hysterically seeks to defame and discredit one of the greatest voices on behalf of Christian-Jewish healing and cooperation? No, for the sake of Jerusalem and for the sake of the God of love and peace we must raise our voices in support of and friendship for the very individual who has never faltered in his support and friendship for us!
Does this mean that I must necessarily agree with all of the theological positions taken by Pastor Hagee? Not at all! True friendship means that I continue to love and even partner with my friend, despite disagreeing with him on even fundamental positions of theology and ideology as long as his views do not threaten the life or limb of innocent human beings. And in fact in subsequent articles I hope to express my own theological position about God and the existence of evil, Jewish history and the place of Hitler (may his very name be blotted out). But if I can only love those with whom I agree completely, then I cannot even love myself because I may very well come to disagree tomorrow with whatever I may have thought and said today! As Pastor Hagee himself has remarked, if I am completely in accord with whatever you think and say, then one of us becomes superfluous.
We are living in a world divided between those who believe in a God of love and peace, and those who believe in a Satan of Jihad and suicide bombers. Any attempt to marginalize and slander leaders of the camp of the former will only serve to strengthen the camp of the latter, with the future existence of the free world perilously hanging in the balance. And so I continue to proudly shout from the rooftops that this rabbi in Israel stands firmly alongside -his beloved friend, a true friend of Israel and the free world, Pastor John Hagee.
Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Israel
Founder: Ohr Torah Stone Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding & Cooperation
Our World: Jews united for Israel's friends by Caroline Glick
Excerpts of the article that appeared in The The Jerusalem Post-on June 2, 2008
As for Israel, just as Yoffie made his initial attack on Hagee, Hagee was setting out to Israel with a thousand CUFI members on a solidarity mission. He held a rally of his supporters at the Jerusalem Conference Center. There he distributed six million dollars in contributions from CUFI members to Israeli charities and educational institutions. No doubt in response to Yoffie's pressure, the only prominent Israeli politicians who attended the event were Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu and former Likud minister and MK Uzi Landau. No government minister attended and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sufficed with a private meeting with Hagee.
HAPPILY, NOT all American Jewish leaders have agreed to toe the line. Senator Joseph Lieberman has rejected demands by Yoffie and J Street to boycott CUFI's conference in Washington. The American Jewish Committee and the Zionist Organization of America have refused to distance themselves from Hagee. Israel and American Jewry should follow their example.
These are terrible times for world Jewry. Islamic Jew-hatred is genocidal. The international Left has betrayed us. Our leaders are weak. Our friends are few and far between.
If we wish to persevere in this environment we must embrace those who support us while eschewing those - even in our own ranks - who tell us that support for Israel is conditional. Now is not the time to quibble over Christian theology. Now is the time to stand united with our friends against our common enemies.
Hagee was, and wasn't, wrong on Holocaust By Jeff Jacoby
Excerpts of the article that appeared in The Boston Globe on June 1, 2008
And yet the belief that the Holocaust, like all calamities, is part of God's plan is hardly alien to Jewish or Christian thought. The Jews of Theresienstadt, risking their lives to gather in prayer, surely believed the horror surrounding them must be willed by God. That is why they begged Him: "Turn back from Your anger and have mercy."
As anyone even fleetingly familiar with the Hebrew Bible knows, it is not "crazy," let alone anti-Semitic, to believe that Jewish suffering can be a punishment from God. What is, if not crazy, then at least reckless, is to claim to know God's reasons for permitting the Holocaust. How a good and loving God can allow such evil is an old, old question, for which we have, in the words of Isaiah, only one ultimate answer: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord."
John Hagee is no anti-Semite. Far from it: He is a passionate enemy of anti-Semitism, who has built a great ministry upon the conviction that Jew-hatred is a sin. The Jewish people and the Jewish state have few friends in the Christian world so devoted and indefatigable - even if it is politically unfashionable to say so.
Hagee, Hitler, and the Holocaust by Joel Mowbray
Excerpts of the article that appeared in on Townhall.com on May 30, 2008
Hagee, like millions of other evangelical Christians, believes in an active, all-powerful God. When you preach often about the Holocaust, you had better give your followers an explanation of the Holocaust that jells with a theology revolving around an all-powerful Almighty—not a natural marriage.
The answer Hagee offered his followers in the now-controversial sermon was that it was fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, specifically the Hebrew prophet Jeremiah’s about hunters and fishers. This is hardly a commonplace interpretation, but that’s all it was. Hagee, like countless rabbis and survivors over the years, was simply trying to offer a reason for how the Holocaust could happen in a world with an omnipotent God.
As talk host and Townhall columnist Dennis Prager noted this week, Hagee’s “notion that God willed the Holocaust is neither anti-Jewish nor even un-Jewish.” In a powerful examination of relevant Jewish theology, Prager wrote, “Regarding the Holocaust specifically, Ignaz Maybaum was a major 20th century Jewish theologian who identified ‘the Holocaust victims as vicarious sacrificial offerings for the redemption of humanity…’”
One rabbi—specifically the one who knows him best, longtime friend Aryeh Scheinberg—goes even further to point out that Hagee’s theology has strong Jewish precedent. “Pastor [Hagee] interpreted a Biblical verse in a way not very different from several legitimate Jewish authorities,” Rabbi Scheinberg said Friday at a joint press conference with Hagee in San Antonio on Friday. “Viewing Hitler as acting completely outside of God’s plan is to suggest that God was powerless to stop the Holocaust, a position quite unacceptable to any religious Jew or Christian.”
John Hagee, the Holocaust, and Me: Thinking about Allies by Daniel Pipes- May 29, 2008
Leonard Fein has noted in the Forward that I am one of those scheduled to speak at John Hagee's Christians United for Israel conference in July. In the light of new information about Pastor Hagee's views on the Holocaust and the news that John McCain repudiated Hagee's endorsement of him for president, Fein wonders, what are the others and I doing about the CUFI conference? Will they cancel their appearances, he asks. "Or will they twist and turn to rationalize their continuing support for this false witness?"
No twisting and no turning here, Mr. Fein. I plan to speak, as scheduled, at the conference.
It is inconceivable that I should repudiate Pastor Hagee, or his organization, because of his theological interpretations. He is not my spiritual guide but an ally in the political effort to help Israel survive and prosper. I do not expect to share a total outlook with my allies, nor do I need to examine their belief systems. It suffices that we work together for a common cause.
Hagee supports the Jewish people by Rabbi Leonard Oberstein
Excerpts of the letter that appeared in The Baltimore Sun on May 29, 2008
Thank God for Christians like the Rev. John Hagee who teach love of the Jewish people and love for the state of Israel ("McCain rejects backing of controversial pastor," May 23).
I do not share Pastor Hagee's theology, but I am happy that he loves Israel and supports it and teaches his many followers to love the Jews.
Rabbi Leonard Oberstein
Melvin Dow Statement Concerning Pastor John Hagee- May 28, 2008
It is difficult to summarize all the things Pastor John Hagee has done to strengthen and benefit Israel and even more difficult to estimate their value and their importance.
Through his powerful sermons, his work in creating Christians United For Israel as a national organization, his sponsorship of "Nights to Honor Israel," Pastor Hagee has drawn hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of Christians to stand-up and speak-out for Israel. His financial generosity has benefited under-privileged Israeli children, disabled veterans, Israeli educational institutions, immigrant absorption centers, and a long list of other Israeli charities and institutions. The "Nights to Honor Israel" programs of sermons and music are not only annual events at Pastor Hagee's Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, they are telecast to millions and are now replicated in numerous cities across the country. CUFI has grown into a national organization with thousands of members who urge Congress to support legislation which benefits Israel. Pastor Hagee has done all these things out of respect for the Jewish people and love for the State of Israel, with no ulterior motives, no hidden agenda, and no proselytizing program. The Jewish people and the State of Israel are fortunate to have Pastor John Hagee as a friend.
Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors Los Angeles Stands with Pastor John Hagee
In light of the recent media and political frenzy over quotes from John Hagee's sermons in the 1990s, CJHSLA wishes to express its support for Pastor Hagee. Whether one agrees with his remarks or not, they are hardly controversial to those familiar with the conversation Jews have been having with and about G-d for thousands of years.
Pastor Hagee is hardly the first person to posit an interactive relationship between the hand of the Creator and the fate of the Jewish people. His opinion in this matter may be uncommon in the mainstream, but it is hardly singular, remarkable or exceptional among Holocaust survivors.
Founder and president of CJHSLA, Doris Wise Montrose, said "My entire life I never heard a discussion about the Holocaust that did not bring up G-d. Many survivors, including my father, believed that G-d had a hand in the Holocaust, either by causing it or by allowing it to happen."
CJHSLA urges the public, especially the Jewish community, to recognize and appreciate Pastor Hagee's stalwart leadership in American Zionism, as well as his overt, compassionate and substantial support for Israel . Hagee's organization, Christians United for Israel , has raised over $30 million for charities in Israel , and for this he deserves our gratitude.
"What I know for certain," said Montrose, "is that 6 million Jews were brutally and systematically murdered over a period of twelve years - from 1933 to 1945 - because human beings here on earth did nothing to stop it. Pastor Hagee understands that better than most, and has made it his business not only to seek atonement for the sins of those who stood idly by, but also to ensure that history is not allowed to repeat itself."
"At CJHSLA, we stand with John Hagee," Montrose concluded. "He should be honored, not scorned."
Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors Los Angeles is a not-for-profit organization committed to preventing another Holocaust by combating antisemitism and anti-Zionism. CJHSLA is dedicated to the protection of freedom and actively promotes the right of the State of Israel to not only exist, but to flourish, as a Jewish state. CJHSLA is a diverse group which includes children of Holocaust survivors, other Jews, Israelis, Christians, and people from various fields including the film industry and the legal profession.
We saw the different publications vilifying your character, and we all felt the need to object and protest thus expressing personally our recognition and esteem to your enterprise, your doing and to your unconditional love to the People of Israel and to the State of Israel.
We all feel that these publications remind us the darkest times of our nation, when rivals from inside and out tried to besmirch the Holy Scriptures, our public systems and the leadership of the Jewish nation. These publications were in the focus of terrible slanders that ended in many disasters for our People.
We see in you a man of truth and a true friend, whose doings and sayings always come from a loving heart and out of true faith. We see you as the appropriate and desirable leader to your flock in these difficult times, and we stand by you.
Prof. Zvi Arad, President of the College
Prof. Sinai Deutch, Dean of the Law School, Deputy to the President
Prof. Bernard Pinchuk, Rector
Prof. Jacob Hart, Director of the Levinstein Hospital, Head of the Public Hospitals Organization; Chairman, Board of Trustees
Dr. David Altman, Senior Vice President
Prof. Joseph Ginat, Vice President for International Relations and Research, Director, The Dan Abraham Center for Strategic Dialogue
Brig.Gen.(ret) Baruch Spiegel, Advisor to the Center for Strategic dialogue
Rabbi Moshe Pinchuk, Incumbent of the Jewish Heritage Center
Mr. Joseph Zeira, Director General of the College
Mr. Jacob Rottner, Director, Voices of Israel Choir
Criticism on the critics By Dr. David Altman, Senior Vice-President Netanya Academic College - May 27, 2008
The recurrence of attacks and the opposition to Pastor John Hagee are not derived from surplus liberalism or from a genuine concern to the People of Israel in their homeland.
It would be better to look into the deeds and thoughts of those attacking him and then come to conclusion of what stands behind these attacks. The fact that they needed to use an article written in the nineties to attack John Hagee's personality and publically go out and struggle against it, also speaks for itself.
The Jewish People are a nation saturated with pain. One can recall how its enemies put it's writing under a magnifying glass as to find in the Talmud or the Midrash the proof and reasons for the anti-Semitism against Jews and to the different suggestions that ended in the burning of the Talmud and to the burning of Jewish books. These were difficult allegations that held tightly to one word or another. It sometimes caused Jewish congregations to withstand for their souls and not always succeeded in doing so.
Pastor Hagee's "great offence" is his unconditional love for the people of Israel and its country. His "Big Sin" is the establishing of the Christian Lobby for Israel and his daily struggle on public opinion and Israel's right to live in Peace and in safety.
Pastor Hagee never saw anything positive in Hitler or in the Holocaust. I can clearly say so, as I know the man, I respect him and I have been hearing him for many years.
The Pastor heartily believes that evil is not a divine act. Wickedness is always man-made, but the great divine compassion can make use of malevolence to bring cure eventually. The Bible mentions the hardening of Ferro's heart in his attitude to the People of Israel during the time before the exodus from Egypt. It was Ferro's wickedness but God had used his choice of Ferro, in order to serve the evil as to bring liberty to the People of Israel in his exodus from Egypt and his return to the belief in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
There is no biblical justification to the evilness to Ferro. Use is made with the saying that since Ferro chose the evil way, God has made use of his wickedness in the glorification of his name all over the world.
The insufferable Holocaust is sequence of evil, malice and man-made actions. The Devine compassion is in the fact, that although the Holocaust was caused by enemies of mankind and against all odds the remains of the survivors rose and came back to their historic homeland and built an old-new homeland all this entirely under Gods' blessing and his aid.
Only potential anti-Semites could understand differently the words of Pastor Hagee in this context. It is indeed interesting that they are clinging to his words about the divine kindness that was revealed in consequence of the awful Holocaust, when alongside the terrible pain, the bereavement and horrors illuminated a sun of salvation to the survivors.
But where are all these beautiful souls who scrabble into the words and writings of Pastor Hagee, who has spoken when the world struck silent, the world that enabled the horror, which enabled the Holocaust, which made the eradication of the Jews of Europe ever possible. Where are all these beautiful souls who never took responsibility to the silence of the world and never have we heard them say "Never again".
Pastor Hagee never even feared to say that America has not done enough, at the time, to save the victims of the holocaust. He regrets until today, that the voice of those beautiful souls was never heard when the boats of illegal Jewish immigrants who came to seek shelter behind the safe borders of the United States of America were sent back to the burning Europe finding their death in the concentration camps.
Pastor Hagee belongs to those who say that the world has to express remorse and to make a commitment that it shall never give or make possible another holocaust to the Jewish people.
Therefore, because of his brave words, because of his explicit sayings he becomes a target for a harsh and uncontrolled attack. Among the greatest friends of Israel and of the Jewish people one can count Pastor Hagee as one of the greatest.
Those who seek his downfall are also the ones who seek our downfall.
We will not take part in the process of hurting this dear man, in finding irrelevant quotations, out of context, in reflecting an idea as if different from his ideas that is expressed in a loud and clear voice thus admonishing the ones who design evil against the US together with those who design evil for the Jews and the State of Israel.
Take your hand off this extraordinary man.
The New Inquisition by David Brog- The American Thinker - May 27, 2008
The recent controversy over Pastor John Hagee is about much more than one man and his "crazy" (John McCain's word) comments. The nature of the attacks on Pastor Hagee and the rapidity with which they spread and hardened into the ugliest of conclusions revealed something far deeper and far more disturbing about our public discourse on faith in America.
What was most breathtaking about the debate over Pastor Hagee's statements on the Holocaust was the complete absence of one. This was not a case where thoughtful arbiters discussed his words in the context of a rich Judeo-Christian tradition of theodicy. There was no respect given to a quite common worldview. There was no trial. We skipped right to the auto da fe.
Breathe in deeply and you can still smell the embers smoldering around Pastor Hagee's public persona.
With an ever-increasing ferocity, large swaths of the media and the blogosphere are enforcing a new orthodoxy of post-modern contempt for literal religious faith. The heresy they hunt is the belief in an omnipotent God who intervenes in history. And the punishment they impose is public death, banishment from the public square. Their power is sufficient to give pause to even the secular-minded among us.
The treatment of Pastor Hagee last week demonstrates the danger. Pastor Hagee's "offense" was to apply his belief in an omnipotent God to the greatest of tragedies: the Holocaust. After all, an all powerful God by definition could have prevented the Holocaust. So why didn't he? In the search for an answer, Pastor Hagee quoted the book of Jeremiah to suggest that God permitted the Holocaust to bring the Jewish people back to Israel.
Far from representing anything new or shocking, this belief that God sanctions the bad as well as good has deep roots in the Judeo-Christian tradition. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus teaches that not even a sparrow falls from the sky unless God wills it. If one sparrow cannot die without God's consent, then it is certainly reasonable to conclude that the same is true of six million human beings created in God's image.
The Jewish tradition likewise sees an omnipotent God behind human events. To cite just one example, the Talmud teaches that the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed because of the baseless hatred that the Jews had for one another at that time. In other worlds, according to the Talmud, God sent the Romans to destroy the Temple because of the sins of the Jews.
I am hard pressed to find a difference between Pastor Hagee's explanation for the Holocaust and the Talmud's explanation for the destruction of the Temple.
Let's be clear: Pastor Hagee's crime was not the specifics of his explanation for the Holocaust. The talking heads were not outraged that he found his answer in the book of Jeremiah instead of the book of Isaiah. His real crime was the fact that he dared to suggest any explanation for the Holocaust that involved a consenting God. To so many arbiters poised over their keyboards, it is simply a heresy to see the hand of God in our tragedies. If this view contradicts your faith in a sovereign God, then you've got a big problem.
Once you've been found guilty of a faith too literal, your public death will be imposed by a thousand cuts. Your life's work will be ignored. Your perfidy will be repeated on YouTube and in blogs where people who know nothing about you, and who've never read a complete transcript of anything you've said, will condemn you with an ever-escalating certitude. Cymbals will ceaselessly clang.
Who among us is safe in an environment where John Hagee can be labeled an anti-Semite? Few Christians have done more than John Hagee to combat anti-Semitism and support the State of Israel. But then he dared to contradict the prevailing orthodoxy. With an absurdity that would make Stalin proud, this lifelong Zionist is now convicted of attacking the very people he has devoted his life to comforting and supporting.
All of us who embrace or respect a more traditional Judeo-Christian worldview need to recognize that Pastor Hagee's problem is our problem. Every Orthodox Jew, Orthodox Catholic and evangelical Christian in America has particular cause for concern. Your views of God and how he interacts in the world are no longer acceptable in the public square. Close the curtains and turn the television volume high before confessing your literal interpretation of the Bible. That large whooshing sound you heard last week was a shot across your bow.
God, the Holocaust and a Pastor by Dennis Prager
Excerpts of the article that appeared on the Dennis Prager Show on May 27, 2008
Hagee is one of the most pro-Jewish Christians alive. No living Christian has devoted more of his life to combating anti-Semitism. He has received death threats from anti-Semites, and they have attacked his home. To accuse such a man of anything anti-Jewish renders both truth and anti-Semitism meaningless. Calling people who help Jews anti-Semitic is a gift to real anti-Semites. With no exception I am aware of, those who imply some anti-Jewish animus in Hagee do so in order to undermine an evangelical conservative and to manufacture a right-wing equivalence to the America-cursing, race-based Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
1. The first question is an obvious one. Can you explain this quote in a way that will resonate with the readers:
"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."
The theological exercise in which Pastor Hagee was engaged is so common that they have a fancy name for it: theodicy. This is the struggle to explain how a loving God could permit evil in the world. Religious thinkers have been debating this most difficult of questions for centuries and, of course, no one has come up with an answer that "resonates" with everyone. We just need to agree to disagree.
Pastor Hagee's view that an omnipotent God must sanction the evil in our world actually has deep roots in Jewish thought. To cite just one example, the Talmud teaches us that the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed because of "sinat hinam," or baseless hatred. In other words, our own Talmud teaches that God used the Romans to perpetrate the greatest tragedy in the history of the Jewish people (until the Holocaust) because of Jewish sins.
We are certainly free to disagree with both the Talmud and Pastor Hagee on why God permits such atrocities. But I don't think it's fair to single out Pastor Hagee and act as if his approach is so unusual, unique, or foreign. Those who are shocked by Pastor Hagee's theodicy demonstrate only that they are unfamiliar with centuries of Judeo-Christian theodicy.
Rabbi Scheinberg's Statement - May 23, 2008
I have known Pastor John Hagee for close to 30 years. Pastor Hagee is a man of G-d, a visionary leader, a person of courage and integrity, a lover of people of all faiths, an embodiment of truth, justice and kindness.
I met him in 1981, when he stood almost alone in the defense of Israel, after Israel destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981. At that time, while the majority of world leaders criticized Israel, Pastor Hagee declared: Israel we are with you.” He was then as today a courageous Christian, guided by an unparalleled moral compass who distinguished right from wrong, good from evil.
The same zeal and vision that moved Pastor Hagee in 1981 to stand in the defense of Israel, has moved him to strongly condemn anti-Semitism and bigotry in its forms.
Pastor Hagee is a world leader in his support of Israel. For he understands that Israel is the only nation of the world who faces extermination for being a Jewish nation, for being a democracy, for being America’s most trusted and loyal friend among the nations, He understands that no other nation in the world has yearned so much, nor given so much, nor risked so much, nor suffered so much for the cause of peace, as Israel and yet has been so criticized.
It is ironic and absurd that when Pastor was lecturing on one of the Jewish perspectives of the Holocaust that his words were twisted and used to attack him for being anti Semitic.
Pastor Hagee said nothing of the kind. Pastor interpreted a Biblical verse in a way not very different from several legitimate Jewish authorities. Viewing Hitler as acting completely outside of God’s plan is to suggest that God was powerless to stop the Holocaust, a position quite unacceptable to any religious Jew or Christian.
No less an authority than the author of the Eim Habanim Semaichah, Rabbi Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal of blessed memory wrote these words while cowering in a Budapest cellar in the very midst of Hitler’s Holocaust: “Furthermore, the sole purpose of all the afflictions that smite us in our exile is to arouse us to return to our Holy Land.”
I have seen Pastor's tears and Diana's tears at Yad Vashem. They identify and feel the pain of our people, therefore I know that of all the criticisms that Pastor has been subjected to when he stepped into a political mine field, and of all the distortions of the truth that he had to contend with, this must be the most painful, because of his love for the Jewish people and his genuine total efforts to see that never again shall the Jewish people be alone in a world of apathy, hatred and anti Semitism.
A Holocaust survivor, who lived through the death camps of Auschwitz, recently declared at the San Antonio Jewish community commemoration of Yom HaShoah:
“If during the Nazi era the world had leaders like Pastor John Hagee, 6 million Jews, among them one and a million children, wouldn’t have been brutally murdered.”
Throwing stones at John Hagee by Joel Mowbray
Excerpts of the article that appeared in The Washington Times on May 15, 2008
Theologically, Mr. Hagee believes that one of the greatest sins a Christian can commit is anti-Semitism — hence the reference in the video to the drinking of the blood of the Jews. He was reminding Christians, as he often does, of the long history of Christian anti-Semitism. Mr. Hagee wastes no opportunity to teach Christians that one of the surest ways for a Christian to become a member of the "apostate church" is to engage in anti-Semitism.
For decades, Mr. Hagee has easily been one of the most prominent Christian leaders fighting anti-Semitism. To him, loving Jews as much as one's Christian neighbors is a core tenet of his faith. In his book "In Defense of Israel," Mr. Hagee wrote, "Show me an anti-Semitic Christian, and I'll show you a spiritually dead Christian whose hatred for other human beings has strangled his faith."
If anything, Mr. Hagee is obsessed with purging anti-Semitism from Christendom. Thus, the book contains a lengthy discussion of the history of Christian anti-Semitism. (It is from this section that his critics have pulled quotes to argue that Mr. Hagee is anti-Catholic. The leading critic, though, the Catholic League's Bill Donohue, this week announced a truce with Mr. Hagee.)
If only Mr. Rich had spent roughly 20 minutes to peruse the relevant chapter, he would have learned two important tidbits: 1) Mr. Hagee's criticism was directed solely at the Catholic Church's past deeds, and 2) Mr. Hagee also attacked Protestant anti-Semitism, with an in-depth exploration of Martin Luther's considerable influence on Nazi ideology.
Throwing stones from inside his glass house, Mr. Rich wrote, "Any 12-year-old with a laptop could have vetted this preacher in 30 seconds, tops." Given how far off the mark he was, it is only fair to ask of Mr. Rich: Could he not find a "12-year-old with a laptop"?
Reject Yoffie, Embrace Christian Zionists by Michael Jacobs
Excerpts of the article that appeared in The Atlanta Jewish Times on April 18, 2008
I have attended three Nights to Honor Israel in Cobb County. Hagee spoke via a recorded message in 2007 and in person this year. He did not say one word disparaging Catholics or Muslims, though he warned the crowd to be vigilant against radical Islam and the expansionist exploits of Iran, as well he should…. Hagee spoke with passion and self-deprecating humor, an approach Rabbi Yoffie could learn from. He left no doubt whatsoever that he and the millions of Americans who back him will never stop doing all they can for Israel, including donating tens of millions of dollars each year… Given a choice between the pastor and the rabbi, the Jew in this case might not be better for the Jews.
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ZOA PRAISES PASTOR HAGEE'S SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL- April 11, 2008
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has strongly praised Pastor Rev. John Hagee, the Evangelical Christian leader and head of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), following attacks upon him by Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ). Rabbi Yoffie argued that American Jews should reject an alliance with Rev. Hagee and his organization, which is strongly supportive of Israel, because of Hagee's views on various issues, yet Rabbi Yoffie himself recently embraced a Muslim extremist organization, the Islamic Council of North America, which he addressed last August. In a speech to URJ on April 2, Rabbi Yoffie said that "No, we cannot cooperate with the Christian Zionists" because "What they mean by support of Israel and what we mean by support of Israel are two very different things."
Rabbi Yoffie's statements & ZOA's rejoinder:
"Christian Zionists leaders have claimed that while they oppose a two-state solution, they do not interfere in Israel's internal affairs. But of course they do. In July of 2007, Pastor Hagee and other Christian Zionist leaders wrote a letter to President Bush stating that "land for peace is a failed policy of the past": Actually, this is not interference, but a fact. It is a fact that 'land for peace' has failed. Israel has relinquished half of Judea and Samaria and all of Gaza, receiving only more bloodshed, terror and insecurity in return. Rev. Hagee is as legitimate in offering his opinion as Rabbi Yoffie is in offering his, contrary opinion.
"… mainstream Christian Zionists … oppose any territorial concessions by the Government of Israel for any reason whatsoever. It follows that their vision of Israel rejects a two-state solution, rejects the possibility of a democratic Israel, and supports the permanent occupation of all Arab lands now controlled by Israel … such views may advance their theology but they do so at the expense of Israel's security and well-being. If implemented, in fact, these views would mean disaster for Israel, and would lead to diplomatic isolation, increased violence": But Rabbi Yoffie's stance on major concessions have in fact been taken in the past by Israel Israel has made massive concessions as Rabbi Yoffie urged, ceding half of Judea and Samaria and all of Gaza, only to receive more terror and violence in return and without attracting any fresh diplomatic support. Instead of admitting the folly of this policy, and despite having admitted his mistake in promoting in the past arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat as a peacemaker, Rabbi Yoffie continues to back this ill-advised and provably disastrous approach. It would appear that Rabbi Yoffie opposes any alliance with Rev. Hagee and the CUFI because their political views differ from his own.
"It might be helpful to remember that the current government and the four previous governments of Israel have all supported some version of a two-state solution; while the details differ, all are based on a negotiated agreement that would provide peace and security both for Israel and for a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza": It is untrue that four past Israeli governments supported a two-state solution. The Oslo accords did not encompass such an eventuality, although its advocates tacitly harbored such an objective. Yitzhak Rabin, in his last speech to the Knesset on October 5, 1995, specifically laid out the parameters of Palestinian self-governance which, in his vision, was to amount to "an entity which is less than a state." The Netanyahu government did not support creating a Palestinian state.
"Christian Zionist representatives, along with some Jewish leaders, met with President Bush's National Security Advisor to demand that the issue of Jerusalem be taken off the table in any negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians … It might be helpful to remember as well that such a position [in favor of a Palestinian state] is supported by … the overwhelming majority of the American Jewish community": This is simply incorrect. Successive polls of American Jewish opinion show a drop over the years for such a position. The 2007 American Jewish Committee poll showed that less than a majority 46% of American Jews still support a Palestinian state. Nearly half of American Jewry explicitly opposes a Palestinian state. The same survey also shows that 58% of American Jews reject Israeli concessions on Jerusalem, which suggests that most American Jews do not share Rabbi Yoffie's enthusiasm for the current negotiations. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, representing the broad spectrum of American Jews, recently passed a resolution supporting an undivided Jerusalem. Do these things make most American Jews opponents of Israel because they disagree with Rabbi Yoffie? Rabbi Yoffie's position supporting a Palestinian state is the one which is out of step with majority American Jewish opinion.
"Christian Zionists actively opposed the disengagement from Gaza and supported the settlers who were resisting the evacuation. That is interference…": Christian Zionists opposed the Gaza withdrawal and uprooting of Jews from their homes. If opposing something equals interference, and if Rabbi Yoffie expresses contrary views, why is that not, too, interference? Moreover, the Gaza withdrawal has brought more terrorism, bloodshed and insecurity for Israel and pushed peace further away. In short, Rabbi Yoffie was wrong and the Christian Zionists were right.
"… an American role in achieving such a [peace] settlement will be essential. Therefore, we must urge our government to commit itself to active, high-level engagement, in order to move the parties toward peace": Rabbi Yoffie essentially urges a policy of American pressure on Israel to make concessions the Israeli public opposes and which the Israel government resists. If that is not "interference" of the sort that Rabbi Yoffie decries, what is? Apparently, Rabbi Yoffie believes "interference" is bad only when people he disagrees with do the interfering.
"On Israeli-Palestinian politics, John Hagee and the CUFI are extremists … their views run against the American grain": As the foregoing shows, Rabbi Yoffie could equally be dismissed as an extremist advocating a minority position. However, rather than casting aspersions on sincere friends of Israel who happen to have a very different view from Rabbi Yoffie about the political realities of the Middle East and rudely denigrating them as somehow un-American, Rabbi Yoffie should be embracing them. Besides, even if Rev. Hagee's view were a minority one, Rabbi Yoffie fails to even consider the issue that minority views can be sometimes correct. The anti-appeasers like Winston Churchill in the 1930s were correct but a minority. So, too, once were those who opposed slavery in the South as inconsistent with morality and justice. Majority support for something can be a good argument, but it is no guarantee of wisdom.
"… we should avoid alliances with Christian Zionists because what they mean by support of Israel and what we mean by support of Israel are two very different things": Should we also reject and demean the view of Likud and other Israeli parties that disagree with Rabbi Yoffie on what is good for Israel. Even if this were true, it is irrelevant. What is relevant is that Evangelicals are clearly fighting now for Israel's survival and security. If we are firm in our faith, we should gladly accept their help and worry about the realization of their views if and when they come to pass. Short of Evangelicals engaging in efforts to convert Jews something that Rev. Hagee does not do and demands of all those within his CUFI coalition that they likewise not do there should be no problem accepting the support of Evangelicals.
"I think that we should refrain from participating in the "Night to Honor Israel" road shows that Pastor Hagee sponsors": Rabbi Yoffie believes that Jews should boycott Rev. Hagee's pro-Israel events because he regards him as an extremist, but Rabbi Yoffie has no difficulty embracing radical Muslims who are hostile to Israel, like the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an organization connected with the Islamist Wahhabi lobby.
"….as we know from the headlines, you have what I know must be for you as well as for us an alarming number of extremists of your own … A measure of our success [in working together] will be our ability, each of us, to discuss and confront extremism in our midst. As a Jew I know that our sacred texts, including the Hebrew Bible, are filled with contradictory propositions, and these include passages that appear to promote violence and thus offend our ethical sensibilities": Rabbi Yoffie claims that Muslim fanaticism and intolerance had been over-stated while ignoring the many Quranic verses and hadith calling for jihad against infidels. Also, why is Rabbi Yoffie building up a straw man of Jewish extremism when there are hardly any Jewish terrorists or support for them across the Jewish spectrum? What principle of morality or Jewish interest leads Rabbi Yoffie to attack friends of Israel with whom he disagrees while embracing opponents of Israel?
"…it is important to remember that Israel's greatest friends and most important defenders are not the fundamentalists or the extremists, or those who, with utter confidence, take their orders directly from God": No Rev. Hagee bases his views on our holy Jewish Torah, which he calls the Old Testament. Why would that be wrong? Also, Rabbi Yoffie a little later says that Israel is the land "we all call holy." Surely, Rabbi Yoffie derives that idea from the same source from which Rev. Hagee's derives his view our Bible. Does that mean Rabbi Yoffie takes orders 'directly from God'? No, it only means that his understanding of the Bible is different. Rabbi Yoffie seems intolerant and unable to accept the legitimacy of religiously-inspired understandings of the Bible that differ from his own.
"I would wonder if they [Evangelicals like Rev. Hagee] were trying to bolster the Jewish state in order to fulfill their prophecies of Armageddon and the Second Coming": Rabbi Yoffie says he disagrees with Rev. Hagee's views on some issues, including non-Israeli issues. But coalitions always operate by working on common ground and ignoring other issues, not on the basis of complete agreement across the spectrum of issues. Rabbi Yoffie wonders if Evangelicals like Rev. Hagee seek to bolster the Jewish state and oppose concessions in order to achieve an Armageddon and bring about a second coming. Even if this were true, this is irrelevant. What is relevant is that Evangelicals are clearly fighting now for Israel's survival and security. If we are firm in our faith, we should gladly accept their help and worry about the realization of their views if and when they come to pass. Short of engaging in efforts to convert Jews something that Rev. Hagee does not do and demands of all those within his CUFI coalition that they likewise not do there should be no problem accepting support of Evangelicals.
"The heart of Pastor Hagee's message is to be found in these words: "Stop giving the land away. The land belongs to you. Keep it": All religious groups, including Rabbi Yoffie's, base their political views on what they argue to be a correct understanding of their religious tradition. It also happens also to be a part of the Jewish Bible that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people. If Rabbi Yoffie has a different understanding of the Bible, he should provide evidence for it from Jewish sources.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, "In the end, when Israel is under enormous pressure with few defenders and supporters, Pastor Hagee's support is critical. He sends a message to the President and Congress and to the media that the Jews are not alone, thank G-d. For Pastor Hagee, in addition to his great work throughout the year throughout the country, he brings 5,000 Christians to Washington every year with vigor and love and support for Israel that we Jews can learn something from. He takes our holy Torah seriously. Should Jews criticize him for that? And he has reawakened the Christian heart and soul inspiring them to realize G-d's holy land was given to the Jews, his chosen people. They love us and we love them."
Re “For McCain, Little Talk of a Controversial Endorsement” (news article, April 8), about the Rev. John C. Hagee and the organization he founded, Christians United for Israel, and the reaction to his efforts on behalf of Israel:
Pastor Hagee has been a true friend of Israel for many years. Christians United for Israel is among the strongest supporters of Israel in the United States.
The signers of this letter have been chairmen of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and we appreciate and respect Pastor Hagee’s dedicated efforts and those of Christians United for Israel.
New York, April 8, 2008
Christians United for Israel wants to provide you with an opportunity to show your support for our founder and chairman, Pastor John Hagee.
Pastor Hagee has come under an angry attack by many in the media. They have ignored his fifty years of ministry. They have overlooked his lifetime of loving-kindness and charity. And they have horribly twisted his decades of zealous support for Israel and the Jewish people.
And make no mistake about it, many who attack Pastor Hagee seek not only to hurt him, but to silence all Christian friends of Israel.
We need to give a bold and unified response!
Now is the time when all of us who appreciate Pastor Hagee's leadership and heart should step forward to help set the record straight.
First, I recommend that you read the statements of support for Pastor Hagee. I encourage you to forward these statements to your friends, families, and colleagues so they too can know the truth.
Secondly, we ask that you keep Pastor Hagee and his family in your prayers during this difficult time. If you are moved to share your prayers and thoughts with Pastor Hagee please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, the best way we can respond to these attacks is to turn out in record numbers for our Washington, DC summit this July 21-23. If you have not already registered, please do so today. IT’S IMPORTANT! If you have already registered, please ask a relative or friend to join you. You can click here for more information.
When we are together in July, we can give this good man and his wife the warm welcome and display of respect that they so richly deserve. More importantly, we can stand together in support of Israel and the Jewish people as never before.