McCain: Finally renounce Hagee's extremism

May 22nd, 2008

Have you heard the latest from Pastor John Hagee, John McCain supporter and leader of Christians United for Israel?

Audiotape just surfaced of Hagee preaching that God sent Hitler to cause the Holocaust so that Jews would move to Israel, in fulfillment of Hagee's conception of biblical prophecy. Read more about J Street's petition to McCain asking him to renounce Hagee here.

This is the same John Hagee whose support John McCain is "glad" to have despite "condemning" some of his views. [1] And it's the same John Hagee who has so far had to apologize for calling the Catholic Church a "great whore" [2] and who said Hurricane Katrina was the judgment of God against New Orleans for planning a gay pride parade. [3]

John McCain justifies his relationship with Hagee based on Hagee's so-called "pro-Israel" credentials. But Hagee's views on Israel have nothing to do with Israel's best interests and everything to do with Hagee's own interest in promoting his own radical viewpoints. Hagee is opposed to territorial concessions for peace and a two-state solution. [4] He is outspoken in his support for military action against Iran. [5] He raises money to build illegal Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories and opposes a shared Jerusalem. [6]

Senator McCain's continued embrace of John Hagee not only speaks poorly of his judgment of personal character, it calls into question whether he has any understanding of what it really will take to bring about peace and security in the Middle East. Please join us today in asking Senator McCain to sever all ties to Pastor Hagee, to condemn his words and to demand an apology.

These latest remarks to come under scrutiny are offensive not just to Jewish people who suffered at the hands of Adolf Hitler but to all Americans, their parents and grandparents who fought and sacrificed to defeat Nazi Germany. We hope Senator McCain will use the occasion of Memorial Day to honor the memory of those who defeated Hitler by clearly separating himself from Hagee's outlandish views.

J Street - the new political voice for Americans for peace and security in the Middle East - will deliver a petition to Senator McCain before Memorial Day asking him to sever all ties with Pastor Hagee. Go here to take action.

Amid the outcry over Hagee's statements, voices from the Jewish community have been surprisingly quiet. Just as John McCain has gotten too close to John Hagee in his quest for political support from evangelicals, so too have some supporters of Israel established a friendship of convenience with Hagee and the Christian Zionists. Yet this alliance runs counter to values and principles deeply held in and traditionally associated with the Jewish community.

That's why J Street is intent on sending a strong message to John McCain and to the broader political system: Not only are John Hagee's words 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.

Sources

  1. "McCain Admits Hagee Endorsement Was A Mistake," ABCNews. April 20, 2008:
    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/04/mccain-admits-h.html
  2. "Response from Pastor Hagee to charges of 'Anti-Catholicism,'"John Hagee Ministries:
    http://tinyurl.com/5ovxqq
  3. "Pastor John Hagee on Christian Zionism," Fresh Air Interview on NPR. September 18, 2006:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6097362
  4. "John Hagee: State Dept Inviting 'Bloodbath' from God."
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFYiSJHbnZc
  5. "As Bush's War Strategy Shifts to Iran, Christian Zionists Gear Up for the Apocalypse," by Sarah Posner. Alternet, January 18, 2007.
    http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/46753/
  6. "US Evangelist Gives $6 Million to Israel," Associated Press. April 6, 2008.
    http://www.wtopnews.com/?nid=105&sid=1381775