On the eve of next week’s Third Annual Washington Israel Summit of Pastor John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the folks at the excellent JewsonFirst.org have released their new must-see video, entitled “Pastor John Hagee’s Preoccupation With the Jews”. It’s the best documentation of Hagee’s views on the subject that I’ve seen to date and should thoroughly embarrass the Summit’s keynote speaker, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, not to mention the many neo-conservatives — Bill Kristol, Clifford May, Frank Gaffney, Daniel Pipes, Charles Jacobs, and Dennis Prager, among others — who will be featured at the Summit as “some of the most influential leaders and thinkers in Washington.” Their message will then be carried to lawmakers all over Capitol Hill by the thousands of attendees from all around the country. Kristol’s best buddy, Gary Bauer, as well as Iran hawk, Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), former Sen. Rick Santorum, and Reps. Elliot Engel and Mike Pence, will also be on the agenda which you can find here. Notably absent, of course, will be Sen. John McCain.
After watching the video, be sure to also reread last April’s letter to the editor in the New York Times written in Hagee’s defense by no less than seven former chairmen of the community’s most powerful organization, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. I alluded to it in connection with Hagee and the neo-conservatives back in May in a post that can be found here. Hagee may be a “true friend of Israel” in the former chairmens’ view, but his views about the Jews who live there and here (presumably including the chairmen themselves, as well as Sen. Lieberman) are considerably more ambivalent.
As noted in the May post, the new pro-peace lobby group, J Street, conducted a major petition drive that received tens of thousands of endorsements to persuade Sen. Lieberman to cancel his participation in this year’s Summit, particularly in light of McCain’s decision to repudiate both Hagee and his views about Adolf Hitler’s role in history. But, as with Iraq, I guess, Lieberman is staying the course and has refused to pull out. The Summit should be interesting, but the press is barred from attending all but the closing banquet.