defending the First Amendment against the Christian right ...

Jews On First!

... because if Jews don't speak out, they'll think we don't mind


  Skip Navigation Links

Return to the page you were reading


Pastor John Hagee and Christians United For Israel

This topic can be found on the Christian Zionists page. Please click here.

Messianic Jewish Groups Claim Rapid Growth

Groups professing to be Jewish believers in Jesus increasingly accepted in Israel

Jan Jaben-Eilon, JewsOnFirst.org, June 4, 2012

About 200 congregants filled the stain glassed-windowed sanctuary on a Shabbat morning this spring, praying, singing and welcoming new members. Among the newly welcomed members was a young Israeli man, named Yoav. Not really extraordinary news, except Congregation Beth Hallel in a northern suburb of Atlanta is not a typical synagogue. Indeed, it is a member of the International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues (IAMCS), the largest ordaining body in the messianic Jewish movement.

Beth Hallel is only one of a number of messianic Jewish congregations in the Atlanta area – and one of some 800 messianic Jewish congregations in the world, according to Joel Chernoff, CEO of Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA), up from zero in 1967. "Messianic Judaism is the fastest growing stream of religious Jewish life since 1967," said Chernoff, who said he grew up in a messianic Jewish family. Sharing his extrapolated and complicated arithmetic, Chernoff credited the Council of Jewish Federation’s 1990 National Jewish Population Survey for his belief that there are now more than one million messianic Jews. "Jews are becoming believers in Yehoshuah," he says, referring to Jesus. Continue.

Top of Page

Christian Zionist Leader Hagee and Rabbi Speak at Colorado Event

Event celebrating the 33rd Night to Honor Israel at the Faith Bible Chapel in Arvada, Colorado featured Pastor John Hagee and Rabbi Selwyn Franklin

Les Canges for JewsOnFirst.org, October 28, 2011

I decided to attend this event, held October 16th, at Faith Bible Chapel (FBC) as a Jewish "witness," kippah attached. I arrived early enough at the church to greet demonstrators and then entered into the atrium area where merchandise from Israel and Christians United for Israel (CUFI) was being sold.

...

The crowd in the FBC atrium and during the program was very friendly to me and my kippah. I engaged in many respectful conversations. The FBC's main chapel holds around 3,000 people and I would estimate that 2,900 were actually in attendance. There were some empty seats, but not many. Between dignitaries, attendees and a rough count of kippot I estimate no more than 100 Jews were in attendance. Continue.

Top of Page

Inside CUFI's 2011 Washington "Summit"

Our eyewitness report on Christians United For Israel's annual Washington conference

JewsOnFirst.org, July 29, 2011

Over this past July 17th – 20th, Christians United for Israel (CUFI) held its 6th annual Washington Summit in the nation's capital to rally its staunch, militant support for Israel. Despite the tough economic times for many Americans, and despite what appeared to be a dwindling number of participants at last year's event, according to official numbers, CUFI managed to draw a crowd of over 5,000 Christians – including over 500 CUFI on Campus student activists – from every state in the Union, as well as some international guests who made the pilgrimage to DC from overseas. Continue.

Top of Page

Christian Zionist's Night to Honor Israel in Albuquerque

Pastor John Hagee and Dennis Prager speak at Christian United for Israel event

Sophia B. Rich, JewsOnFirst.org, March 6, 2011

Two months after local Jewish protest prompted Denver's Jewish Federation to "disinvite" Christian Zionist leader John Hagee, the Jewish Federation of New Mexico joined with Hagee's organization, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), in a public event featuring the controversial televangelist and his high profile friend and supporter in the Jewish community, talk show host Dennis Prager.

CUFI's Night to Honor Israel, billed as "the annual demonstration of solidarity for Israel and the Jewish people," took place Tuesday, January 11, at the Albuquerque Convention Center. It was the third such event to be held in Albuquerque and the first attended personally by Pastor Hagee. Continue.

Top of Page

Inside CUFI's 2010 Washington "Summit"

An eyewitness report on Christians United For Israel's annual conference

Special to JewsOnFirst.org, November 4, 2010

Christians United for Israel's (CUFI) fifth annual Washington Summit, held this past July 20-22, 2010, highlighted once again the persistence and institutionalization of CUFI as the American Christian Zionist organization. As with its previous Summits, it was repeatedly emphasized that the support and love that CUFI and its members have for Israel and the Jewish people – to be sure a very particular kind of support – was based on the Biblical mandate of Christians to do just that. Of course, this is not to be dismissed as a false reason for its support. Indeed the proliferation and popularity of the "prosperity gospel" in contemporary conservative Protestantism has ensured that the repeated refrain of Genesis 12:3 (I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you) resonates among the (Christian) leaders of CUFI and its members. This is because it funnels the belief in personal "blessings" (which are almost always considered in financial terms) and national blessings (the furtherance of a conservative social agenda and American global dominance) into the ultimate investment: Israel. Continue.

Top of Page

Pastor John Hagee's Fixation on Iran: A Self-fulfilling Prophecy?

A video by Jane Hunter, JewsOnFirst.org, September 2008

This video examines how Christian Zionist leader John Hagee's belief in the end times drives his hard-line political position on Iran.

For several years televangelist Hagee has campaigned for an aggressive U.S. policy toward Iran. Hagee's campaign has been in conjunction with his leadership of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the nation's leading Christian Zionist organization. Megachurch leader Hagee preaches that Iran will attack Israel in the battle of Armageddon presaging Jesus' return; CUFI leader Hagee warns that Iran will launch a nuclear attack on Israel.

We ask: Is Hagee's Iran policy about Jewish safety? Or Christian Apocalypse? Please click here.

Top of Page

Iran and the End Times at Pastor John Hagee's 2008 Washington Summit

JewsOnFirst.org reporters' video from inside and outside the July 2008 summit of Hagee's Christians United for Israel

A video by JewsOnFirst.org, August 15, 2008

When John Hagee's organization, Christians United for Israel (CUFI) held its July 2008 summit at the Washington DC Convention Center, JewsOnFirst.org reporters were inside and outside. This video shows some of what we saw and heard, despite CUFI's extraordinary efforts to shield the meeting from public scrutiny and muffle all talk of Armageddon and the End Times -- the real reason for Christian Zionists' interest in Israel. Click here to view the video.

Top of Page

John Hagee's Christians United for Israel Conference Mixes End-Times Prophecies With Lobbying

JewsOnFirst.org Reporters Were Inside CUFI's Washington Conference

by JewsOnFirst.org, July 24, 2008

Even though televangelist John Hagee barred reporters from the conference of his Christians United for Israel (CUFI), reporters for JewsOnFirst.org covered most of the sessions of the conference at the Washington Convention Center, which concluded yesterday.

According to a document distributed at the conference, "CUFI is a national, grassroots organization which unites all pro-Israel Christians in America under one umbrella." JewsOnFirst.org estimates that as many as 3,000 people attended the conference. Please click here for our report, which includes video and audio clips of the conference.

Top of Page

A JewsOnFirst.org video:
Pastor John Hagee's Preoccupation With the Jews

A video by JewsOnFirst.org with narration by Ed Asner, July 18, 2008

JewsOnFirst.org is proud to present our video, Pastor John Hagee: A Preoccupation with the Jews. Pastor John Hagee heads Christians United for Israel (CUFI), a leading Christian Zionist organization, and as its leader enjoys the support of major Jewish organizations. With narration by Ed Asner, our video shows a number of instances in which Hagee's understanding of Jews and Judaism should give cause for concern.

Hagee declares that Hitler was "part Jewish." He says that Jews attribute special healing powers to the "spittle" of their first-born sons. He repeats anti-semitic canards about Jewish control of the financial system.We hope this video will prompt rabbis and Jewish organizational leaders to reevaluate their relationships with Hagee and CUFI. Click here.

Top of Page

Christian Zionist Leader Hagee in Unprecedented Appearance at Reform Temple

By Robin Podolsky, March 17, 2008. Special to JewsOnFirst.org

On Tuesday, March 11, the Reverend John C. Hagee spoke as a guest at Stephen S. Wise, a Reform Temple in West Los Angeles—the first time, the Reverend said that he had spoken at a Reform Temple in more than 20 years. The event was billed as a ‘dialogue’ between Reverend Hagee and Rabbi David Woznica, and the format was that of a long interview in which Rabbi Woznica asked questions that Reverend Hagee answered. The audience had no opportunity to ask questions of its own.

When asked to identify himself theologically, Reverend Hagee said that he is Evangelical, which means that he “reads scripture” and then simply “does it.” He said that he is not fundamentalist, because he does not wish to be identified with the sort of people who handle snakes. (This was not the only time when Reverend Hagee appeared to cater to a prejudice that he expected his audience to share. At one point, he invited the mixed audience of Jews and evangelicals to commiserate with the difficulties of winning Texas “rednecks” to the task of combating anti-Semitism; he also described a rushed, hurried prayer as being like that of “a Presbyterian late for lunch.”) Continue.

Top of Page

Christian Zionists again in the news

Jewish newspapers write of dissent over cooperation with Pastor Hagee, whose group holds event in Madison; Congresswoman opposes Hagee; Israeli religious authorities ban contact with Christian Zionist group

by JewsOnFirst.org, May 8, 2007

Reports in two important Jewish newspapers show that cooperation with Christian Zionist leader Pastor John Hagee remains an unsettled issue among Jewish organizations and congregations. Continue.

Top of Page

Pushback on Armageddon

by Jane Hunter and Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, JewsOnFirst.org, March 7, 2007

As the nation turns against war in the Middle East, Christian Zionists continue their agitation for attacking Iran as a way to hasten Armageddon, the end-time. And the most prominent Jewish organizations continue to embrace Christian Zionists as supporters of Israel, which Christian Zionists believe will be the scene of the end-times return of Jesus.

Meanwhile, some Christians are warning of the consequences of the Christian Zionists' agenda. Dr. Stan Moody, author of Countdown to Armageddon, which we've just posted, writes with concern about a fundamentalist drive "to focus American hegemony on the Middle East to orchestrate the return of Christ."

The Jewish organizations are silent about the fundamentalist Christian domestic agenda of their Christian Zionists allies. But that does not mean that Jews around the country are at ease with it. Continue.

Top of Page

Jewish-Christian Difficulties in Challenging Christian Zionism

by Rev. Robert O. Smith, February 6, 2007, introduced here by Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak of JewsOnFirst.org

In our post-Holocaust era, many Jews have identified with the State of Israel as their last line of defense should the community again come under the threat of eradication. Most Christians, especially in North America, are unable to begin fathoming this possibility. Their communities simply have not been under such a threat."

So begins Rev. Robert O. Smith in this essay. Writing as a committed Christian and academic, Smith reminds Christians that, to borrow Rabbi Leo Baeck's phrase, "Jews look at history with old eyes." (Baeck [1873 - 1956] was the leader of German Jews until 1942, when he was taken to Terezin concentration camp.) For Baeck, Jewish memory served as a cautionary and an antidote to despair. Smith is cautioning Christians that, no matter how well intentioned their theology, there is a complexity that must be acknowledged and they must be patient in building their post-Holocaust relationship with Jews.

Currently Jews are seeking political support in an increasingly hostile world for Israel. Many Jewish leaders are not hearing Christians who offer responsible criticism of the Israeli government's policies. Instead they are embracing other Christians, Christian Zionists, who are seeking their vision of the return of Jesus through the end-times battles.

Jews reading Smith's essay might wonder, which is better: The old pre-World War II "replacement" theology, in which Christians take over Jews' role as the "chosen" people -- or the new Christian Zionist theology? Replacement theology, teaches that Jews do not have a role in history. They are superceded and superfluous. Christian Zionism grants Jews a temporary "stay," until the demand for Jews to cease being Jews -- conversion -- is issued by a returning Jesus. Smith writes that most Jews will say neither choice is a good one. He seems to be searching for a third alternative on which to build a just mutuality for Jews and Christians. Please click here to read Smith's essay.

Top of Page

Hagee in Africa

by JewsOnFirst.org, December 19, 2006

The first part of CUFI Chairman John Hagee's email about the Iraq Study Group (see main story) announces his departure for Nigeria. He writes: "When I went to Nigeria in 2004 more than 3 million people came for one service to hear the Gospel." That prompted a search for news reports about the massive service. We did not find any. But we learned from Wikipedia that the largest turnout for Pope John Paul II was in Manila, where four to five million people attended a mass in1995. Continue.

Top of Page

Christian Zionist leader mobilizes against the Iraq Study Group: warning evangelicals to "Beware Baker"

By H. Malone for JewsOnFirst.org, December 19, 2006

Televangelist John Hagee recently added his voice to the conservative chorus slamming the findings of the Iraq Study Group. Hagee, founder of the Christian Zionist lobbying group Christians United for Israel (CUFI), emailed a warning to his evangelical supporters saying they should "beware" the group's chairman, former Secretary of State Jim Baker.

Hagee slammed Baker for supposedly promoting the position "that America's problems can be settled if the Israel-Arab affair is settled." Hagee also claimed that, as Secretary of State in the George H.W. Bush administration, Baker enlisted Syria's support for the first Iraq war by giving Damascus "a free hand" in Lebanon. Continue.

Top of Page

Christian Zionist leader Hagee depicts Jews as Christ killers

by JewsOnFirst, September 26, 2006

John Hagee, the megachurch pastor who is the current face of Christian Zionism in the United States, depicted Jews as Christ killers in a recent interview. Hagee also stated that Muslims have a "mandate" to kill Christians and Jews and that God caused Hurricane Katrina to destroy New Orleans to prevent a scheduled gay parade. Continue.

Top of Page

Eyewitness: Sunday morning at Christian Zionist organization leader's church
Pastor John Hagee, head of Christians United for Israel, preaches hatred of Islam

By an anonymous attendee, special to JewsOnFirst.org, August 23, 2006

I was at Cornerstone Church last Sunday -- this for the fourth time, which means I must be some kind of masochist. The "sermon," lasting over an hour, was the first of a three part series entitled, "A Family Feud." I expect you will know that refers to Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Isaac and Ishmael. Sunday's diatribe featured an analysis of the current political situation, next Sunday (dare I go again?) will tell us how it all started and who's to blame, and on Sept. 3 the true believers will be treated to the Armageddon scenario.

First, the whole thing was purely political; nothing "religious" whatsoever, except the repetitious excoriation of Islam. Of course, there was a nod to "good Muslims," but the constant reminder that the enemy is Islamo-fascism (and you should hear how Hagee pronounces "fascism"; just as he mispronounced "Martin Niemoeller") lets it be known to his hearers that really all Islam and all Muslims are the enemy. He skewed history time and again, e.g., he said Hamas was led by Arafat. Continue.

Top of Page

Christian Zionists lobby for US attack on Iran

Right-wing Christian Evangelicals, End Times and Israel

by JewsOnFirst.org, July 31, 2006

Christian Zionists -- Christian evangelicals who avow support of Israel based on a belief in Biblical end-times scenarios -- are whipping their followers into a fervor in favor of an attack on Iran. In a related development, conservative commentators like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have been beating the drum for a US attack on Iran, characterizing the current conflict in Lebanon as the start of “World War Three."

The calls for aggressive action against Iran wouldn’t amount to much more than laugh lines for Comedy Channel newscasts, were it not for the involvement of some highly influential, right-wing Christian evangelical leaders in a new Christian Zionist organization, Christians United for Israel, or CUFI.

Religious right groups typically support aggressive foreign policies because of their identification with the Republican Party and their interest in missionizing where the US intervenes. But CUFI, which recently brought 3,500 citizen-lobbyists to Washington, is advocating confrontation with Iran based on "cherry-picked" Biblical interpretations. Continue

Note: This report includes a sidebar, What is Christian Zionism? by Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak.

Top of Page

Jerry Falwell denies saying that Jews can get into heaven without converting to Christianity

By JewsOnFirst, March 8, 2006

The Rev. Jerry Falwell, one of Israel's main right-wing evangelical Christian allies, quickly denied a Jerusalem Post report that he no longer believes that Jews must convert to Christianity to be "saved." The Post's sources, televangelist John Hagee and Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg of Congregation Rodfei Sholom, both of San Antonio, also said the Post was mistaken. The mistake turned on some fine points of theology, but it revealed some interesting things about how Jews and right-wing evangelicals regard each other.

Hagee and other prominent right-wing evangelical Christians recently established Christians United for Israel, described as a Christian version of "AIPAC," Israel's powerful Washington lobbying organization, which the Jerusalem Post covered. Continue

Top of Page

Why Atheists Can't Be Real Americans

Joseph Farah, WND, June 12, 2012

Pastor John Hagee, senior pastor of San Antonio’s Cornerstone Church, is making People for the America Way very angry with some comments about atheists.

Here’s what he said in a talk captured on YouTube by the group: “This nation was not built for atheists or by atheists. It was built by Christian people who believed in the Word of God. To the atheists watching this telecast, if our belief in God offends you, move. There are planes leaving every hour on the hour, going every place on planet earth. Get on one, we don’t want you and we won’t miss you, I promise you.”

That may sound harsh, coming from a Christian minister of a mega-church with 20,000 members. Continue.

Top of Page

Israel Finds Common Cause With Evangelicals

Michele Chabin, Huffington Post, November 18, 2010

JERUSALEM (RNS) When Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee wrapped up a visit to Israel on Monday (Nov. 15) with 40 pastors in tow, he sought out the places where Jesus walked, preached and prayed some 2,000 years ago.

But there was another meeting on the itinerary that was a must-not-miss event for Hagee and his host: a sit-down with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The fact that Netanyahu -- knee-deep in contentious talks with Palestinians over a freeze on Israeli settlement construction -- found time to meet Hagee's contingent speaks volumes about the ties between Israeli officials and evangelical Christians. Continue.

Top of Page

Christian Backers of Israel Reach Out to Blacks
AIPAC Also Looks for More Support Among African-Americans

Nathan Guttman, Forward, October 19, 2011

Once known for their work together on civil rights, African Americans and Jews have experienced decades of contention over a range of issues since the 1960s. But now, some in the pro-Israel community see an opportunity to reconstitute a black-Jewish alliance centered on Israel.

With the coming of age of a new generation of black religious and social leaders, pro-Israel advocacy groups are reaching out to enroll African Americans in support of Israel, often in a religious setting.

Christians United for Israel, the largest non-Jewish, pro-Israel organization in the United States, has scheduled two October events in New York intended to highlight the group’s increased outreach to African-American evangelicals who hold positive views of the Jewish state. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel Washington lobby, is conducting a similar effort, aimed primarily at African-American student leaders. Continue.

Top of Page

Letter from Ari Morgenstern, on behalf of Pastor John Hagee

Ari Morgenstern, Birmingham Mail (United Kingdom), Augut 12, 2011

I am writing in response to assertions critical of my client, Pastor John Hagee, published in the Birmingham Mail.

Hagee is an Evangelical Christian pastor based in San Antonio, Texas. His church’s weekly worship services are broadcast to millions throughout the U.S. and around the world. In late August, he will be preaching at the Birmingham Symphony Hall.

In their relevant July 7th headline, the Birmingham Mail referred to Hagee as a “hate Pastor,” and did not offer Hagee an opportunity to address accusations made against him prior to publishing the accusations. Continue.

Top of Page

Christian Pro-Israel Group Stakes Claim on Right

Nathan Guttman, The Forward, July 25, 2011

WASHINGTON — Once a novelty, the shofar-blowing, hora-dancing Christian evangelicals are now an integral part of the pro-Israel advocacy scene.

At its 5,000-strong national conference in Washington, Christians United for Israel, the large Christian-Zionist movement, made clear it is stepping up its activity on the two issues that now top the pro-Israel agenda: fighting efforts to delegitimize Israel, and working on college campuses to counter anti-Israel activity.

With 700,000 supporters, CUFI is the largest pro-Israel organization in America. And while the views expressed by its leaders in their Washington gathering indicate that CUFI is still distinctly apart from the mainstream pro-Israel community, it is being warmly embraced by Israeli and American Jewish leaders alike. Continue.

Top of Page

Birmingham urged to ban controversial US pastor John Hagee

Jonathan Walker, Birmingham Mail (Birmingham, United Kingdom), July 9 2011

CITY Council leader Mike Whitby has been urged to cancel a planned rally led by a controversial American pastor.

Richard Burden (Lab Northfield) has written to Coun Whitby asking him to confirm whether the rally will be allowed to go ahead, and asking whether he believes it is ethical to receive payment for the event.

He spoke out after US Pastor John Hagee booked Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, which is run indirectly by the council, to hold a rally and seminiars on August 19 and 20. Tickets are for sale at £10 each.

Pastor Hagee has said in the past that the Holocaust was part of God’s plan to force Jews to return to Israel and claimed Hurricane Katrina was divine punishment for a planned gay pride rally. Continue.

Top of Page

Glenn to keynote “Christians United for Israel” event

News Release, Glenn Beck, May 4, 2011

Glenn Beck will be the keynote speaker at Christians United for Israel’s sixth annual Washington Summit on July 18-20, 2011. Glenn will give the keynote speech at “A Night to Honor Israel” ,a banquet held on Tuesday evening, July 19.

While Christians United for Israel (CUFI) has regularly held hundreds of “Nights for Israel” across America, this annual event gives participants the opportunity to unite their voices in speaking with elected officials to maintain our nation’s support for Israel and the Jewish state. Continue.

Top of Page

Hispanic and Jewish leaders formalizing their alliance
'Bridges' attendee: 'Shared experience of being outsiders'

Abe Levy, San Antonnio Express, March 28, 2011

Henry Cisneros called it providential. Two Sundays ago, the scriptural reading at his West Side parish was about the patriarch Abraham and his divine call to start a new nation. “It was a wonderful moment for me,” he said of the Mass. “It underscored once again why my people, the Latino people, have such deep, profound respect and feelings for Israel and the Jewish people.” It's a mutual friendship he hopes to foster into a considerable national coalition. On Monday, Cisneros — the city's former mayor and federal housing secretary — and Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg wrapped up a conference called “Bridges & Pathways.” Continue.

Top of Page

Gingrich Cozies Up to Anti-Gay Pastor
John Hagee was once renounced by John McCain as 'crazy'

Kevin Spak, Newser, March 15, 2011

Newt Gingrich has agreed to appear at a summit held by Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee. That name ring a bell? Here, let's refresh your memory. Hagee's last foray into presidential politics ended with then-candidate John McCain calling his views "crazy and unacceptable," after some of his anti-gay and anti-Catholic statements surfaced. "Every so often [Hagee] pops up like Whac-A-Mole," the executive director of Catholics United tells Mother Jones. "Why does someone like Newt Gingrich feel like he has to have a public association with this person? Continue.

Top of Page

Gingrich Courts Incendiary Pastor Renounced by McCain in '08
Why's Newt holding a tête-à-tête with a controversial evangelical leader who's bashed Catholicism?

Tim Murphy, Mother Jones, March 15, 2011

When Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) accepted the endorsement of Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee in 2008, the result was a PR disaster. After critics pointed to Hagee's incendiary views on gays (whom he held responsible for Hurricane Katrina) and Catholicism (which he described as a "false cult"), the Arizona Republican called Hagee's views "crazy and unacceptable" and renounced the endorsement.

But three years later, Hagee is once more involved in Republican presidential politics. Later this month, he'll host former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a 2012 aspirant, at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio. For the candidate and the pastor, the summit is a chance for two controversial figures to help each other back into the spotlight—though a Hagee spokesman says the pastor has no plans to endorse Gingrich. Continue.

Top of Page

Pro-Israel rally draws a crowd at Victory Christian Center
Against a backdrop of turmoil in the Middle East, several thousand people met Monday night at Victory Christian Center for Tulsa's fifth annual "A Night to Honor Israel.

Bill Sherman, Tulsa World, March 1, 2011

The celebration is one of hundreds of pro-Israel events sponsored around the United States each year by Christians United for Israel.

"We are gathered here as Christians to show our support to the Jewish community, to let them know we stand with them," said Victory's pastor, the Rev. Sharon Daugherty, state director of Christians United for Israel.

Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett said Tulsa's Jewish and Christian communities have chosen to focus on their common values: democracy and freedom.

Gov. Mary Fallin, who attended the event last year, is in Washington but sent a letter that Daugherty read. Continue.

Top of Page

Hagee Says Dividing Israel Is Not God's Will; Evangelicals Disagree

Michelle A, Vu, Christian Post, January 7, 2011

The new year has just begun but Pastor John Hagee, arguably the most vocal and controversial Christian Zionist in the nation, has already denounced any peace process between Israel and Palestinians that involves dividing the land of Israel as being against God’s will.

In a Christians United for Israel webcast Thursday, Hagee cited several Old Testament verses to support his claim that God made an everlasting covenant with the Jewish people regarding their promised land. He pointed to Genesis 13:14-17, which says in part, “The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, ‘Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever.” Continue.

Top of Page

The Biggest Pro-Israel Group in America? That’s Us, Says Christians United
Religious Organization Claims 500,000 Members, Though Some Say Its Definition of Membership is Expansive

Nathan Gutman, Forward, December 8, 2010

WASHINGTON — America’s largest pro-Israel group is no longer a Jewish one.

Or at least that’s what one might gather from Christians United for Israel’s recent announcement that it now has more than 500,000 members. In its November 30 press release touting the milestone, CUFI boasted that this makes it “by far the largest pro-Israel organization in America, as well as one of the leading Christian grassroots organizations in the world.”

Some might challenge this characterization, given that CUFI counts as “members” anyone who is signed up to its e-mail list. Few, however, would dispute that CUFI has, in the five years since it was founded, become a major player on the pro-Israel scene. Continue.

Top of Page

Israel finds common cause with evangelicals

Michele Chabin, The Houston Chronicle, November 24, 2010

JERUSALEM -When Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee wrapped up a visit to Israel with 40 pastors in tow this month, he sought out the places where Jesus walked, preached and prayed some 2,000 years ago.

But there was another meeting on the itinerary that was a must-not-miss event for Hagee and his host: a sit-down with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The fact that Netanyahu — knee-deep in contentious talks with Palestinians over a freeze on Israeli settlement construction - found time to meet Hagee's contingent speaks volumes about the ties between Israeli officials and evangelical Christians.

Christian Zionist support for Israel is at an all-time high, observers say, and Israelis, American Jews and Palestinians are taking notice - some favorable, some not. Continue.

Top of Page

In Defense of Fatih

Jeff Gardner, Human Events, November 21, 2010

“What is truth?” This was the question that Pontius Pilate put to Jesus of Nazareth when the two men came face to face. Pilate’s question was rhetorical. He did not expect, nor would he have likely accepted, any answer given to him by Jesus. As the crowds outside of his chambers chanted for the death of an innocent man, Pilate stumbled. He had the means to rebuff the mob’s cries for blood that day, but instead he acceded to their demands and took his place among history’s great moral pygmies.

...

In his latest book, In Defense of Faith: The Judeo-Christian Idea and Struggle for Humanity, David Brog unapologetically argues that the Judeo-Christian idea of the sanity of human life is the only antidote to the deadly moral relativism that has afflicted Western culture for centuries. The bearers of that antidote, Brog writes, are men and women of faith who have sacrificed life and limb for the sake of others. When people of faith fail to do this, Brog points out, when they fail to act on the principals of universal love, things can and do go terribly wrong. The slavery and genocide that Christian Europeans brought to the Americas, to the Holocaust, and to Stalinist Russia are just some of the examples that Brog uses to point out the failure of Westerners to measure up to their best cultural benchmarks. Continue.

Top of Page

Beck shared stage with pastor who attacked Catholics

The raw story, September 1, 2010

Pastor John Hagee, a controversial critic of Catholicism, was onstage with Glenn Beck at this weekend's "Restoring Honor" rally.

A panel on MSNBC's Hardball found themselves shocked Tuesday to find Hagee "getting all the hosannahs for being a great American" while on stage with the Fox News host.

Hagee is the founder and pastor of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas and the chief executive of Global Evangelism Television. Continue.

Top of Page

Pastor Hagee Cites Int’l Law Against Ahmadinejad

Eli Clifton and Ali Gharib, Loblog, August 31, 2010

John Hagee’s Christians United For Israel (CUFI) has just sent out a petition demanding that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad be tried by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the crime of incitement to genocide.

“The next time that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears before an international tribunal, it must not be as an honored guest at the United Nations General Assembly. It must be as a defendant in the dock of the International Criminal Court,” Hagee and his lieutenant David Brog wrote in a letter promoting the petition, for which they claim to have already gathered 75,000 signatures. Continue.

Top of Page

Im Tirtzu Answers Hagee's Funding Cuts: We Have not Changed

Hillel Fendel, Israel National News (a private, pro-settler operation), August 24, 2010

The pro-Zionist organization Im Tirtzu (If You Will it) is not unduly perturbed over apparent threats by John Hagee Ministries (JHM) to discontinue funding. "We have not changed our direction; we have always engaged in Zionist advocacy and responding to post-Zionist trends," Im Tirtzu says.

It was reported yesterday that JHM, headed by the Protestant preacher Pastor John Hagee, has all but decided to drop Im Tirtzu from the list of pro-Israel causes to which it contributes. Lee Wunsch, head of the Jewish Federation in Houston through which Hagee funnels much of his contributions to Israel, explained that Hagee "will not continue that funding [to Im Tirtzu], as we both believe that Im Tirtzu has morphed into a quasi-political organization, and neither Pastor Hagee nor the Houston Jewish Federation will fund such groups."

A spokesman for Hagee Ministries, Ari Morgenstern, accused Im Tirtzu of “misrepresenting its focus when they told us their mission was strictly Zionist education… We had no prior knowledge of Im Tirtzu's prior political actions and we never seek to involve ourselves in Israel's internal political debate. Continue.

Top of Page

Stakelbeck on Terror Show

Erick Stakelbeck, CBNcom (Christian Broadcasting Network), August 11, 2010

In this week's edition of Stakelbeck on Terror, CBN News hits the annual Christians United for Israel (CUFI) summit in Washington, D.C., for an exclusive interview with CUFI founder Pastor John Hagee. What does the Bible say about the coming war in the Middle East -- and can America survive? Watch for his comments.

Also, what's drawing more U.S. citizens to the al Qaeda movement? CBN News examines the phenomenon of homegrown jihad in the "War Council" roundtable.

Plus, radical Islamists and the radical left say Israel has no right to exist. But Israel's Minister of Public Diplomacy Yuli Edelstein told CBN News in an exclusive interview why they're wrong. Continue.

Top of Page

Religious passion combines with politics at CUFI parley

Ron Kampeas, JTA, July 25, 2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Pastor Scott Thomas was ready to "present the Biblical positions" of his support for Israel -- as the Christians United for Israel literature put it -- to the Florida congressional delegation.

"We believe Israel has the right to defend herself …" the youthful, handsome pastor for Without Walls Central Church in Lakeland, Fla., started, then trailed off, visibly tired at the end of day of interviews, turning away from a reporter. "Randy, you'll have to help me with the other two talking points."

Randy Neal, a senior official with CUFI, the evangelical group that attracted 5,000 activists to Washington last week to lobby for Israel, counted them down for Thomas. Continue.

Top of Page

Zion Oil & Gas to Sponsor Christians United For Israel's (CUFI) 'Night to Honor Israel'

Christian NewsWire, News Release, June 23, 2010

DALLAS, Texas and CAESAREA, Israel, June 23 /Christian Newswire/ -- Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. (NASDAQ GM: ZN) announced today that it will sponsor both the "Night to Honor Israel" banquet and the "Ambassadors" reception, during the Summit at the Fifth Annual Washington-Israel Summit of Christians United for Israel (CUFI).

The Summit will take place in Washington, D.C. during July 20-22. The banquet will occur on Wednesday evening, July 21. Pastor John Hagee and Israel's Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, are scheduled to speak at the banquet. It is expected that John Brown, Zion's Founder and Chairman, will be interviewed by Pastor John Hagee during the Summit and that the interview will be broadcast on the Daystar Television Network during the "Night to Honor Israel". In addition, CUFI will broadcast a video about Zion at the banquet's pre-event, and the banquet's proceedings will be telecast by live-feed over the Daystar Television network. Continue.

Top of Page

John Hagee draws large crowd to convention center

Lori Van Ingen, Lancaster Intelligencer, (Lancaster, Pennsylivannia), April 22, 2010

Television and radio evangelist Pastor John Hagee believes the recent eruption of the volcano in Iceland stems from Britain breaking God's covenant.

The day after Britain's Advertising Standards Authority said the Western Wall in Jerusalem could not be used in Israeli tourism ads in Britain because it is considered occupied territory, Hagee said, the volcano erupted, shutting down Britain's economy in one day.

"That's coincidence, like the flood was a coincidence. That's coincidence, like the Red Sea was coincidence. That's coincidence, like the earthquake and the Resurrection was coincidence," Hagee told about 3,200 people at Lancaster County Convention Center on Thursday night as part of John Hagee Ministries' Rally and Prophecy Seminar. Continue.

Top of Page

CUFI activists e-blast White House on ‘crisis’

JTA, March 17, 2010. Full text

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Pro-Israel U.S. Christians are e-mailing the White House every several seconds urging President Obama to "end the crisis" with Israel.

Christians United for Israel sent an action alert Tuesday to its membership urging them to ask Obama to roll back criticism of Israel after last week's controversy, when Israel announced approval of a plan to build 1,600 apartments in an ultra-Orthodox eastern Jerusalem neighborhood during a visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. U.S. officials condemned the announcement as an "insult" and an "affront."

The CUFI action alert asks the president to "end this unnecessary crisis, return to a more productive approach, and stand with our ally Israel."

As of Tuesday evening, CUFI said more than 11,000 e-mails had been sent -- a rate of oneevery one or two seconds.

"The strong response of the Christian Zionist community on this issue reflects their steadfast commitment to standing with Israel," Ari Morgenstern, a CUFI spokesman, told JTA. "Christian friends of Israel are capable of distinguishing between temporary disputes between friends and the deeper ties that bind our two countries.” Click here.

More than 1,000 CUFI activists attended one of the group's signature "Nights to Honor Israel" in Jerusalem last week that featured an address by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The CUFI leadership also met with other Israeli leaders, including President Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Top of Page

PM Netanyahu’s Address to the Christians United For Israel Jerusalem Summit

Benjamin Netanyahu, Transcript from the Israeli Prime Minister's Office, March 8, 2010

Welcome to Jerusalem, the undivided, eternal capital of the Jewish state and the Jewish people.

Your presence here today represents a profound transformation in the relationship between Christians and Jews. This transformation has its roots in the 19th century when the early Christian Zionists came to the Land Israel and when they began exploring the land of the Bible, when they began to yearn for the Jewish restoration in this land, the restoration of our numbers, the restoration of our sovereignty.

In fact, Christian Zionism preceded modern Jewish Zionism, and I think enabled it. But it received a tremendous impetus several decades ago when leading American clergymen, among them most notably, Pastor John Hagee, a dynamic pastor and leader from Texas, began to say to their congregations and to anyone who listened, it’s time to take a stand with Israel. It was time to take a stand with the sole democracy in the Middle East. It was time to take a stand against the lies and the slander and the vilifications. It was time to defend the Jewish state’s right to defend itself. Continue.

Top of Page

Cornerstone honors Israel with $9 million gift

By Colin McDonald, San Antonio Express-News, October 26, 2009

Elie Wiesel, the noted author, activist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, was the keynote speaker at John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church on Sunday.

“What can I tell you?” Wiesel said to the crowd of about 5,000 at the mega church on Loop 1604 and Stone Oak Parkway. “I came because I could not resist the persistence of Pastor Hagee.” Continue.

Top of Page

The Truth About Christian Zionists

Why pro-Israel Christians really support the Jewish state, push for sanctions on Iran, and want the United States to stop pressuring Jerusalem.

Opinion Article by David Brog, ForeignPolicy.com, September 16, 2009

It is curious -- and deeply disappointing -- to observe the way in which some figures on the pro-Israel American left discuss the phenomenon of Christian support for Israel. These are people who are capable of discerning subtle shifts in the mood of the Arab street. They delve into the complexities of Hamas politics and report back to us on apparent -- if often meaningless -- policy distinctions. But when the subject turns from Israel's enemies to Israel's friends, their palate grows dull. Suddenly, the shades of gray disappear and all that remains is stark black and white. Continue.

Top of Page

Christian Zionist parley: Don’t pressure Israel

By Eric Fingerhut, JTA.org, July 23, 2009

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- While criticism of President Obama's demand for an Israeli settlement freeze has been relatively muted among U.S. Jewish organizations, this week's Christians United for Israel conference here provided the opportunity for some prominent Jews and Christians to level some public complaints. Continue.

Top of Page

Christian Right Crusades for Israel

By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, IsraelNationalNews.com, July 23, 2009

John Hagee, a leading Christian evangelist who heads the Christian United for Israel movement, told 4,000 followers in Washington Wednesday night that, "The chief obstacle to peace in the Middle East is not Israelis living on the West Bank but the regime in Tehran." He charged that U.S. President Barack Obama is “singling out Israel" for concessions towards the establishment of a new Arab state within Israel's current borders. Continue.

Top of Page

Hagee welcomes gay groups

By Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express News, June 28, 2009

Every Sunday at Cornerstone Church, doors swing open to visitors from every part of the Alamo City and every walk of life. Viewers tune in from across the nation for evangelical services brimming with soaring music and fiery sermons.

This Sunday, as the 40th anniversary of Stonewall — the birth of the gay rights movement — was being observed, the Rev. John Hagee also welcomed a community that doesn’t traditionally attend. They were lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Continue.

Top of Page

Jerusalem Countdown: Christian Zionists and the New Israeli Government

By Bill Berkowitz, ReligionDispatches.org, March 16, 2009

In early April of last year, at a conference in Jerusalem of American evangelicals organized by Pastor John Hagee, Benjamin Netanyahu told the audience that Israel had no better friends than America’s Christian Zionists. “This is a friendship of the heart, a friendship of common roots, and a friendship of common civilization,” Netanyahu said.

Now, nearly a year later, with Netanyahu cobbling together a ruling coalition in Israel, three men of the US Christian Right, Pastor John Hagee, Michael D. Evans, and Joel C. Rosenberg—all of whom have had long-term associations with the prime minister-to-be—may feel like they’re about to be handed the keys to the Promised Land. Continue.

Top of Page

Resolution emphasizes Jewish evangelism

By Erin Roach & Art Toalston, Baptist Press, March 6, 2009, Revised March 13 to incorporate a statement from Texas pastor John Hagee that re-states his rejection of dual covenant theology.

PHOENIX (BP)--A leading proponent of Jewish evangelism has issued a declaration calling for Christian Zionist ministries to disclose whether they believe evangelicals should share the Gospel message with Jewish people.

The North American chapter of the Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism, a network of organizations, congregations and individuals involved in Jewish ministry, held its 26th annual meeting March 2-4 in Phoenix with the theme "Jewish Evangelism Against All Odds." Continue.

Top of Page

"A Night to Honor Israel" benefits Israeli agencies

The Herald - Voice (Houston, Texas), November 8, 2008

The solidarity that Christians have shown for the Jewish people was made tangible at “A Night to Honor Israel” on Sunday, Oct. 26, at Pastor John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, as Christians United for Israel donated $9.5 million to causes that support the promotion and enhancement of the Jewish state.

“Each event is better than the prior year,” said Jewish Federation of Greater Houston president and CEO Lee Wunsch. “It was an amazing ex­perience to see Christians and Jews coming together and to see all these wonderful organizations in Israel being the beneficiaries of that unity.”

The Federation brought two bus loads of community leaders to the event and reception afterward at Rodfei Sholom Synagogue. Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg of Rodfei Sholom is credited with enabling the event’s creation. Continue.

Top of Page

Hagee to give $9.5 million in Israel

by JTA , October 24, 2008. Full text

John Hagee Ministries has raised another $9.5 million for Israeli and Jewish causes, according to the organization.

John Hagee, who founded Christians United For Israel, will announce donations of $9.5 million on Sunday at a Night to Honor Israel event at his Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Tex. Hagee is controversial because of his closeness to Jewish settlers and because of his eschatology, which prescribes a Jewish return to Israel as a precondition of the messianic age.

In the past, his ministrys money has funded Jewish institutions in the West Bank. No details were provided about recipients for the new contributions.

Hagees church has raised tens of millions of dollars for Israel since the early 1980s.

Top of Page

Gary Bauer tells BBC television that Obama has suspect Muslim background

Stephen Sackur, HardTalk, BBC News, October 16, 2008

In an interview aired on BBC's international news channel, Christian right leader and CUFI executive board member Gary Bauer repeats discredited allegations that Sen. Barak Obama was once a Muslim. Bauer says: "Do you know whether radical Islam was part of Barack Obama's background? He went to a religious school in Indonesia. Nobody's been able to find out how things were run in that school." Bauer also says: "The people that were in the school at the time say it was a typical religious Muslim school, and they were being taught the things that we've seen being taught in many Muslim schools around the world that are troubling."

Please click here to go to a page with links to the video interview and Sackur's reflections on his interviews with Bauer and Bill Kristol.

Top of Page

Hagee's attorneys get YouTube videos removed

Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service, USA Today, July 10, 2008

Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee has successfully worked with copyright lawyers to get more than 120 videos featuring him removed from YouTube.

The development was reported by The Huffington Post, whose blogger Max Blumenthal discovered that a video he had made at Hagee's Christians United for Israel conference last year was among those removed from the popular video website.

Juda Engelmayer, a spokesman for Hagee, confirmed that the videos had been removed. Continue.

Top of Page

YouTube removes Hagee videos

JTA, July 9, 2008

YouTube removed some 80 videos featuring controversial pro-Israel pastor John Hagee.

Lawyers for Hagee, saying they violated copyright restrictions, requested the removal from the sharing site, according to the Texas pastor's spokesman, Juda Engelmayer.

The removal comes barely two weeks before Hagee's organization, Christians United for Israel, holds its third annual summit in Washington. Continue.

Top of Page

Focus on the Here and Now
Few things are ever clear cut or risk free.

Opinion Article by Gerald A. Honigman, IsraelNationalNews.com, July 9, 2009

A good friend of mine and myself were having a discussion recently about Christian support for Israel. Neither of us are naive, and both of us are seasoned observers of the Jewish scene.

I remember growing up and having Christians knocking on my door telling me that my family was going to Hell. In Philadelphia, no less, with some 400,000 Jews in its environs. Imagine what it's like out yonder ways. As a doctoral student, I remember studying Christian theology as part of my interest in first century Judaism and the revolt against Rome. So I know the theological reasons for some Christians' support of Israel, as well as the fate of Jews after the Second Coming in that theology. Continue.

Top of Page

Justifying and deconstructing Hagee and ourselves

Ellen W. Horowitz, The New Jersey Jewish Standard, June 20, 2008

Partisan political agendas and allegiances have, at times, seemingly overshadowed our commitments to God and to our faith. I find it confounding that so many purportedly Torah-observant Jews adhere to political pundit Ann Coulter’s view that "the survival of Israel is inextricably linked to the survival of the Republican Party and its evangelical base." I, too, am concerned about the outcome of the presidential race and how it will affect Israel, but isn’t it high time that the people of Israel learn how to roll with the punches and come up on top — regardless of shifts in American foreign policy and changes in the White House administration? Continue.

Top of Page

Is Pastor Hagee Good for the Jews?

David Van Biema, Time Magazine, June 20, 2008

Cutting ties with John Hagee has proved to be a lot easier for Senator John McCain than it has been for some of the very Jewish groups most offended by the conservative Evangelical pastor's statements about God and the Holocaust. McCain moved to dissociate himself from Hagee after a 1999 sermon was publicized in which Hagee claimed that God intended the Holocaust, and had prophesied it in the Book of Jeremiah. "And that will be offensive to some people," Hagee boomed. "Well, dear 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 to the Jewish people is to get them back to Israel.' " Continue.

Top of Page

After their verbal sparring, Hagee and Yoffie may meet

By Ron Kampeas, JTA, April 8, 2008

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Now that they've called each other disrespectful, Rabbi Eric Yoffie and the Rev. John Hagee are ready to meet and discuss their differences -- respectfully.

The two religious leaders have been squaring off for the past week.

Yoffie in a major speech April 2 called on Jews to dissociate themselves from Hagee and the organization he founded, Christians United for Israel, asserting that the pastor did not respect other faiths or the right of Israeli leaders to make territorial concessions.

Five days later Hagee, a San Antonio-based evangelical mega-church leader and arguably the country's most influential Christian Zionist, fired back in a conference call with reporters.

"Rabbi Yoffie’s speech demonstrates not only a lack of respect for me but a troubling lack of respect for the truth," he said Monday.

Hours after Hagee's media call, however, both men were sounding a more conciliatory note.

"I was told he was interested in meeting with me," said Yoffie, the president of the Union of Reform Judaism, in an interview with JTA. "I'd be delighted to sit down and talk to him." Continue.

Top of Page

US Evangelicals March Through Jerusalem

By The Associated Press, New York Times, April 7, 2008

JERUSALEM (AP) -- American televangelist John Hagee led several hundred flag-waving followers across Jerusalem on Monday, a colorful display of the growing alliance between Christian evangelicals and Israel.

Hagee, who calls himself a Christian Zionist, pledged his unconditional backing for the Jewish state. He also vehemently denied he is anti-Catholic, telling reporters that comments attributed to him were either false or mischaracterized. Continue.

Top of Page

US Evangelist Gives $6 Million to Israel

By The Associated Press, New York Times, April 6, 2008

JERUSALEM (AP) -- American evangelist John Hagee announced donations of $6 million to Israeli causes on Sunday and said that Israel must remain in control of all of Jerusalem.

Hagee, a Christian Zionist who has been in the spotlight lately for endorsing presidential candidate John McCain and criticizing the Catholic Church, brought hundreds of backers on a solidarity trip to Israel.

Hagee and his group, Christians United for Israel, joined keynote speaker Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of Israel's hard-line opposition Likud Party, at a rally in support of Jerusalem remaining united and under Jewish control.

''Turning part or all of Jerusalem over to the Palestinians would be tantamount to turning it over to the Taliban,'' Hagee told an audience filled with Americans who waved Israeli flags and cheered. Continue.

Top of Page

Speakers at Academy Said to Make False Claims

Neil MacFarquhar, The New York Times, February 7, 2008

The Air Force Academy was criticized by Muslim and religious freedom organizations for playing host on Wednesday to three speakers who critics say are evangelical Christians falsely claiming to be former Muslim terrorists.

The three men were invited as part of a weeklong conference on terrorism organized by cadets at the academy’s Colorado Springs campus under the auspices of the political science department.

The three will be paid a total of $13,000 for their appearance, some of it from private donors, said Maj. Brett Ashworth, a spokesman for the academy. Continue.

Top of Page

Academy officials say 3 ‘former terrorists’ won’t cover Christianity

Pam Zubeck, The Colorado Springs Gazette, February 6, 2008

Three “former terrorists” speaking today at the Air Force Academy will stick to their area of expertise — terrorism — and won’t be promoting Christianity, academy officials said Tuesday.

“No one is here to talk about religion,” academy spokesman Maj. Brett Ashworth said. “The purpose is to educate future officers and delegates from 50 colleges and universities on the ideology and methodology of terrorists in preparation for leadership positions in the war on terror.”

The “former terrorists” — Walid Shoebat, Kamal Saleem and Zak Anani — will be paid a total of $13,000 for their appearance at the 50th annual Academy Assembly, a conference sponsored by the academy and Columbia University’s American Assembly. Most of the funding comes from private donations through the academy’s Association of Graduates. Continue.

Top of Page

Huckabee angers some Catholics

Jim Forsyth, Reuters, December 23, 2007

San Antonio (Reuters) - Rising Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee risked his standing with Catholic voters on Sunday by courting his evangelical base at the church of a controversial preacher accused of disparaging Catholics.

There are a few remnants of anti-Catholicism among evangelical Christians in the South but the two sides have found much common political ground over the past three decades in their strident opposition to abortion and gay marriage.

But the visit to Cornerstone, pastor John Hagee's imposing "mega-church" in the Texas city of San Antonio, was fraught with political perils for Huckabee given his efforts to woo conservative Catholics. Continue.

Top of Page

Pastor Hagee And The Giving Gap

Editorial, The New York Jewish Week, October 25, 2007

Many American Jews have watched with alarm as Christian Zionists, some with an apocalyptic view of Israel and her future, take on a greater role in the pro-Israel movement. But evangelicals like Pastor John Hagee, the founder and president of Christians United for Israel, are putting their money where their mouths are. They are coming through for a Jewish state that faces grave new dangers, and their support is not all shadowed by ideology.

That represents a genuine challenge, especially for Jews who worry — not entirely without reason — about the impact on U.S. Middle East policy of Christian groups that object on biblical grounds to the policies of Israel’s democratically elected government.

This week Pastor Hagee, an outspoken opponent of any new land-for-peace deal with the Palestinians, announced another large gift to Israel. More than $8 million raised by his ministry will go to a variety of Israeli charities, many that promote aliyah — a goal most American Jews support. That comes on top of the millions of dollars raised by his “Night to Honor Israel” events around the country. Continue.

Top of Page

Hagee cautious on Mideast talks

Abe Levy, San Antonnio Express-News, October 14, 2007

Amid the festive celebration Sunday night at Cornerstone Church's annual event to honor the Jewish people and Israel was a stern warning from speakers about the current threat of proposed Middle East peace talks to Israel's future.

Pastor John Hagee, the most visible leader for the Christian Zionist movement, spoke of the dangers of the topics he said were set to be raised during the Middle East summit planned for next month in Annapolis, Md., initiated by President Bush.

He said Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, told him pre-summit talks have raised the idea of Israel ceding part of the Arab community in Jerusalem to Palestinian sovereignty. And the talks include some sort of "internationalization" of that city's holy sites such as the Mount of Olives and the City of David. Continue.

Top of Page

Hagee: Jimmy Carter is Israel's 'enemy in America'

IsraelToday.com, July 23, 2007

American Christian leader Pastor John Hagee this month labeled Jimmy Carter as Israel's "enemy in America," and demanded the former president reveal the anti-Israel sources of funding for his foreign policy research center.

"I call on former president Carter to publicly disclose how much of the Carter Center's funding is coming from anti-Israel sources in the Middle East," Hagee demanded during an address to the annual Washington, DC gathering of his new organization, Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Hagee cited a recent article in the conservative magazine National Review that revealed Carter receives the bulk of his funding from Saudi Arabia.

Carter has raised the ire of American Evangelical Christians with his recent attacks on Israel's settlement policy, defensive measures and isolation of the Hamas terrorist organization. He has long been an outspoken advocate of Israel surrendering to all Arab demands in the name of "peace."

Hagee hopes to use CUFI to harness Christian support into an effective counterbalance to the influence of Carter and like-minded enemies of the Jewish state in the American capital. Continue.

Top of Page

Evangelical Skeptic

By David Suissa, Jewish Journal, June 1, 2007

Suissa writes of his dinner with Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz who leads Jews for Judaism and is skeptical of Christian Zionist pledges not to evangelize Jews. Kravitz quotes from an email from Pastor John Hagee, leader of CUFI: "Keep in mind that God has 'blinded the eyes' of the Jews and hardened their hearts for having denied Christ. Pastor [Hagee] believes that one-on-one witnessing is more effective than targeting the nation as a whole." Click here.

Top of Page

Message from David Brog
Alexandria, Virginia

David Brog, Executive Director, Christians United For Israel, May 21, 2007

Also last night I had the pleasure of attending and addressing the first annual Night to Honor Israel in Alexandria, Virginia, outside of Washington, DC. The event was organized by CUFI Regional Director General Jim Hutchens and his wife Patty. An enthusiastic crowd came to lend their support to the event, including Minister for Domestic Political Affairs Martin Peled-Flax from the Israeli Embassy, local rabbis, and many local pastors. Speakers included Arab Christian Zionist and World Net Daily Editor Joseph Farah and David Rubin, an Israeli who survived a harrowing terrorist attack in Israel. Jim Hutchens closed the night by most eloquently summarizing the purpose of the evening, and of CUFI, by reminding the Christians in the audience that they should pledge to the Jewish people the same pledge that Ruth made to Naomi so many centuries ago:


Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.
You're people will be my people and your God my God.
Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried.
May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely,
If anything but death separates you and me.
Ruth 1:16

Top of Page

Israel Should Give Up 'Not One Inch' of Land, GOP Presidential Candidate Says

Patrick Goodenough, CNSNews.com, May 21, 2007

If he becomes president, Rep. Duncan Hunter says he will continue to hold the position that Israel should surrender "not one inch" of disputed territory to the Arabs in exchange for pledges of peace.

Addressing a Christian Zionist meeting in Alexandria, Va., Sunday evening, the California Republican recalled a visit with his father to the Golan Heights, where they viewed a narrow valley where a small number of Israeli tanks had held off more than 1,400 Soviet-built Syrian tanks during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Hunter, a Vietnam veteran and former chairman and current ranking minority member of the House Armed Services Committee, said he had vowed then that he would always support what he called that "postage stamp of a country." Continue

Top of Page

Farah keynotes 'Night to Honor Israel'
Washington event sponsored by Jerusalem Connection

WorldNetDaily.com, May 9, 2007. Note: Shiloh is a Jewish settlement in the West Bank

WASHINGTON – WND founder and Editor Joseph Farah will deliver the keynote address at "A Night to Honor Israel," sponsored by the Jerusalem Connection and Christians United for Israel, Sunday, May 20, at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center at the Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria.

David Rubin, the former mayor of Shiloh in Israel, who was seriously wounded, along with his son, by Palestinian terrorists in 2001 will also speak. Rubin founded the Shiloh Israel Children's Fund to help in the rehab of kids traumatized by terrorists. Presidential candidate and Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., will also make remarks.

"We will be celebrating Israel's 59th birthday with our Jewish friends and acknowledging the relevance of Shavuot for Christian Zionists," explained James M. Hutchens, president of the Jerusalem Connection. "Shavuot is the time when the book of Ruth is emphasized. Ruth is the proto-type of the non-Jew who pledges unconditional allegiance to Naomi, her Jewish mother-in-law. Ruth is a symbol of the Christian Zionist support for Israel and the Jewish people today." Continue.

Top of Page

Churches for Middle East Peace Thanks Rep. Betty McCollum

Representative Betty McCollum, April 30, 2007

Churches for Middle East Peace wrote Rep. Betty McCollum (DFL-MN-4) today thanking her for her April 25th letter to a local Minnesota pastor regarding an event organized by Christians United For Israel (CUFI) and for her work on behalf of Israeli-Palestinian peace. In her letter, Rep. McCollum brought attention to statements by CUFI founder, Pastor John Hagee, that demonstrate "extremism, bigotry and intolerance" and expressed her support, in contrast to Pastor Hagee, for "working for the ‘roadmap for peace’ in the Middle East, Israel living side-by-side in peace and security with an independent Palestinian state." Click here to read the PDF document.

Top of Page

Bible Literacy Project Corrections to Bible Textbook are Non Sequitur

News release from Wiley Drake, 2nd Vice President of The Southern Baptist Convention, Christian Newswire, March 20, 2007

Dr. John Hagee, of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Tx., called "The Bible and Its Influence" "a masterful work of deception, distortion and outright falsehoods." Bible Literacy Project Communications Vice President Sheila Weber has claimed that "misrepresentations" about the textbook "The Bible and Its Influence" have been corrected. However, many of Hagees' strongest concerns remain unchanged.

Page 29 of the Bible Literacy Project textbook reads "other origin stories tell of many gods who are created, etc." Hagee says this "plants the concept in the mind of children that polytheism is just as acceptable as monotheism, which is contrary to the Bible." Also unchanged is a Bible quotation from an interpretation by Dr. Robert Alter, an endorser of and contributor to the textbook, saying God created the world "out of welter and waste." Hagee contends this leaves a "completely wrong" impression of the creation account. Hagee says the unchanged phrase on page 34 promotes polytheism: "By contrast, some traditions and philosophies see humans as no more or less sacred than other living creatures." Continue

See also: Hagee's March 2006 letter to the Alabama legislature, from which these quotes are drawn. Click here.

Top of Page

Hardline Pastor Gets Prime AIPAC Spot
Rev. John Hagee’s appearance drawing criticism on eve of policy conference

James D. Besser, New York Jewish Week, March 9, 2007

Growing ties between pro-Israel forces and a controversial, hardline “Christian Zionist” movement will move into the national spotlight at next week’s policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the pro-Israel lobby.

One keynoter at the event, which annually draws hundreds of lawmakers, administration officials, diplomats and political hopefuls, will be Pastor John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), author of several books about biblical prophecy and an opponent of new territorial concessions to the Palestinians on biblical grounds.

Rev. Hagee, who will speak at a Sunday plenary, was also a leading backer of a controversial Christian broadcast venture in Israel that critics charge sought to convert Jews.

And a time when pro-Israel forces are being accused of beating the drums for war with Iran, Rev. Hagee seems to believe such a conflict is both inevitable and necessary. In his apocalypse-oriented book “Jerusalem Countdown,” he predicted a nuclear showdown with Iran and said, “The end of the world as we know it is rapidly approaching ... rejoice and be exceedingly glad, the best is yet to be,” according to a Wall Street Journal report posted on the CUFI Web site.

Last year, Rev. Hagee told the Jerusalem Post that “I would hope the United States would join Israel in a military pre-emptive strike to take out the nuclear capability of Iran for the salvation of Western civilization.” Continue.

Top of Page

Christian Zionist leader Hagee disparages high school bible text approved by Jewish groups

In statements quoted by USA Today (March 7, 2007), Pastor John Hagee, currently the most prominent Christian Zionist leader in the US, disparaged a textbook approved by Jewish organizations for use in public high school courses on the bible. Hagee reportedly called the book, The Bible and its Influence, "a masterful work of deception, distortion and outright falsehoods" planting "concepts in the minds of children which are contrary to biblical teaching."

According to USA Today, "Hagee wrote to the Alabama legislature opposing adoption of the text, citing points such as discussion questions that could lead children away from a belief in God. Example: Asking students to ponder if Adam and Eve got 'a fair deal as described in Genesis' would plant the seed that 'since God is the author of the deal, God is unfair.'"

According to the paper "Hagee prefers the Bible itself as a textbook for Bible classes, used with a curriculum created by a group of conservative evangelicals, the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, based in Greensboro, N.C." Click here to read the USA Today report.

See also: Hagee's March 2006 letter to the Alabama legislature, from which these quotes are drawn. Click here to see a PDF copy of the letter.

Top of Page

AIPAC Policy Conference 2007

from the website of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, January 2007

In just weeks, the American pro-Israel community will gather in Washington for its largest annual gathering -- the AIPAC Policy Conference.

This year's Policy Conference will include all of the elements that traditionally make the event a can't-miss experience for anyone committed to ensuring the future of the U.S.-Israel relationship. Key American and Israeli elected officials and thinkers will address plenary sessions, and the top leadership of Congress will be on hand for the Gala Banquet -- a one-of-a-kind celebration which annually draws half of the Senate and a third of the House. Continue.

Top of Page

We Might Be Chosen, But We're Still Going to Hell: Jews and the Christian Right

Michelle Goldberg, The Huffington Post, November 15, 2006

Tuesday's New York Times had an interesting article about John Hagee, the San Antonio pastor who has emerged as America's most influential Christian Zionist. I was especially intrigued because, when I travel around the country speaking about my book Kingdom Coming , some of my most impassioned challengers have been Jews who are grateful for the Christian right's zealous support for Israel.

As many point out, Hagee is a major fundraiser for pro-Israel causes -- at his "Night to Honor Israel" celebration last month, he gave out $7 million to various Jewish and Israeli charities. Continue

Top of Page

Effect of socially conservative 'values voters' in question

By Peggy Fikac and Gary Scharrer, The San Antonio Express-News, November 5, 2006

"Gov. Rick Perry, campaigning for re-election, sat on a stage at the left hand of San Antonio minister John Hagee on Sunday as the televangelist urged the estimated 90 million viewers of his ministry to go vote Tuesday." So begins this report which also quotes Hagee saying "If you live your life and don't confess your sins to God Almighty through the authority of Christ and his blood, listen to me, I'm going to say this very plainly -- you are going straight to hell with a nonstop ticket." Gov. Perry said his faith agreed with that statement. Continue.

Top of Page

Christians have a biblical duty to support Israel in time of need

John C. Hagee, JTA, July 18, 2006

SAN ANTONIO, July 18 (JTA) — This week, more than 3,000 Christians representing all 50 states gathered in Washington for a truly historic event. Without the traditional rally on the Capitol steps or demonstrations that bring Washington traffic to a halt, Christians United for Israel held a banquet saluting the State of Israel and met with members of Congress to urge greater support for the Jewish state.

Christians United for Israel, or CUFI, is not a lobbying group; we are a national Christian organization that urges stronger U.S. support for Israel, especially in light of growing international tensions. Delegates came to Washington at their own expense to exercise their right to meet with members of Congress. Continue

Top of Page

Hagee denies belief in 'dual covenant theology'

By J. Michael Parker, San Antonio Express-News, March 4, 2006

Neither San Antonio televangelist John Hagee nor the Rev. Jerry Falwell has expressed a belief in a "dual covenant theology" as reported Wednesday in the Jerusalem Post, Hagee and a local rabbi said Thursday.Click here to read the report.

Top of Page

Falwell denies Post story, says Jews need Christ for salvation

Baptist Press, March 2, 2006

"'Denying a Jerusalem Post story that said he had embraced a 'dual covenant' theology, Southern Baptist pastor Jerry Falwell said March 1 that he believes all people, including Jews, 'must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ in order to enter heaven.' Texas Evangelist Dr. John Hagee too denied that he believed in a 'dual convenant.' Rabbi Aryeh Sheinberg of Texas is the source that Jerusalem Post reporter Ilan Chaim quoted.”Click here to read the report, which includes Falwell's full statement.

Top of Page

Falwell: Jerusalem Post 'fabricated' story on me
Newspaper claimed Christian evangelist had new tune on how Jews get to heaven

WorldNetDaily, March 1, 2006

In an interview with the right-wing website WorldNetDaily, religious right leader Jerry Falwell denied a Jerusalem Post report that he no longer believed that Jews must be Christians to go to heaven. WorldNetDaily reports Falwell saying the Post fabricated the story. Falwell also says he is still a Zionist. Click here for the interview.

Top of Page

Falwell: Jews can get to heaven

By Ilan Chaim, Jerusalem Post, March 1, 2006

An evangelical pastor and an Orthodox rabbi, both from Texas, have apparently persuaded leading Baptist preacher Jerry Falwell that Jews can get to heaven without being converted to Christianity. Click here to read the report.

Top of Page

Evangelicals to launch 'Christian AIPAC'

By Ilan Chaim, The Jerusalem Post, February 2, 2006

A leading US evangelist is forming an umbrella organization under which all pro-Israel Christians in America can speak as one in support of the Jewish state.

Pastor John C. Hagee of San Antonio, Texas, is to launch Christians United for Israel (CUFI) at an invitation-only "Summit on Israel" next Tuesday at his Cornerstone Church. Click here to read the report.

Top of Page

Transcript: Update: Troubled Lands

Bill Moyers, Troubled Lands, June 29, 2002

Bill Moyers: We have some new information about a piece we did earlier in the year on Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Our producer went back to see how some attitudes and daily life have changed.

David Rubin, Shiloh Settler: During Operation Defensive Shield the government sent in the army to several of the autonomous cities of the PA, a lot of progress was made, but it has to be put into perspective. There is still danger, there is still risk.

Mark, Shiloh Security Chief: People are driving less on the roads, we are taking the armored buses more. And unfortunately, we've gotten to the situation where people are going out with bullet proof vests. People have not felt safer as of yet. Continue

Top of Page

 By JewsOnFirst.org:
 Our most recent reports and conversations

There's Still Christianity in the Public Schools?. Jewish students down South face aggressive proselytizing by their evangelical classmates and scant protection from their schools, reports Jan Jaben-Eilon. Some Jewish youth who lack a strong Jewish foundation have fallen prey to efforts to convert them. Go.

Cincinnati Jews and Christians "Stand Together" in Support of Israel. Cincinnati Jews and Christians sponsored an event to bring together Christians and Jewish supporters of Israel. The focus was on why the Jewish community should welcome Christian support. Go.

Messianic Jewish Groups Claim Rapid Growth. Most American Jewish organizations shun these quasi-Christians, although they embrace Christian Zionist organizations. However, the messianic groups are increasingly finding acceptance in Israel, where the lines are blurring between them and Christian Zionist groups. Go.

Christian Zionist's Night to Honor Israel in Albuquerque. The Jewish Federation of New Mexico partnered Christians United for Israel in a public event in Albuquerque featuring CUFI leader John Hagee and his high profile friend and supporter in the Jewish community, talk show host Dennis Prager. Go.

Victory in Delaware School District Case. The Supreme Court's refusal January 19th to hear a case about religion in public schools that JewsOnFirst has followed for years was a resounding victory for the Jewish "Doe" family in Delaware who brought the case, and for countless families across the country. Go.

Deconstructing the Bush Administration's Faith-based Initiatives. In an interview with JewsOnFirst.org that will be of particular interest to congregations, Prof. Robert Wineburg discusses how Bush officials re-directed $2.5 billion in social welfare funds from mainline religious agencies to local religious congregations and inexperienced faith-based agencies. Go.

Kentucky’s Ark Encounter. Avi Milgrom gives us a detailed look at the Ark Encounter, a planned $170 million, 800-acre creationism theme park, subsidized by state and local government funds. The nearby Creation Museum, a partner in the Ark Encounter project, hires only Christians. Go.

Denver Jews Force Federation to Withdraw Invitation to Rev. John Hagee. We talk with three local Jewish leaders about the Denver Allied Jewish Federation's "disinviting" Pastor John Hagee, who was to have keynoted a November dinner, and replacing him with David Brog (pictured), the CEO of Hagee's Christians United for Israel. Go.

Christian Zionist Leader Hagee and Rabbi Speak at Colorado Event. Rev. John Hagee and Orthodox Rabbi Selwyn Franklin spoke at a Colorado church's Night to Honor Israel on October 16th. A share of the collection plate was destined for the Ariel settlement on the West Bank. Go.

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Terms Palestinian State Victory for "Jihadism". We have exclusive coverage of Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon's speech at a Christian Zionist program at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. The program was sponsored by the Jewish Federation, right-wing pro-Israel groups and Christian organizations. Go.

JewsOnFirst Reports on The Response. Blatant and repeated calls for Jews to accept Jesus punctuated Texas Governor Rick Perry’s August 6th Response revival meeting. There were also calls to redeem the United States for Jesus. Our eyewitness report has details. Go.

Inside CUFI's 2010 Washington "Summit". As in past years, JewsOnFirst has posted a report from inside the Washington DC conference of Christians United for Israel, the leading Christian Zionist organization. Go.

Inside CUFI's 2011 Washington "Summit". As in past years, JewsOnFirst is posting a report from inside the Washington DC conference of Christians United for Israel, the leading Christian Zionist organization. Big eyebrow-lifters this year were Glenn Beck's keynote speech and a CUFI board member's wife saying that dividing Jerusalem will delay the return of Jesus. Go.

A Muslim Community Center? Why Not?. We analyze the arguments, pro and con, in the fierce debate over Park51, the proposed Muslim community center near Ground Zero in the context of longstanding national conversations about the meaning of religious freedom and what sort of country we are and want to be. Go.

Doomsday Q & A. When the "Rapture" or "Doomsday" predicted for May 21st by fundamentalist preacher Harold Camping became national headline news, we thought it would be useful to explore the underlying dynamics of such events. We turned to John Hubers, a professor of Religion at Northwestern College in Orange, Iowa, who observed that "doomsday soothsayers" offer structure and certainty to followers whose ranks swell in times of uncertainty. Go.

Judge rules National Day of Prayer Unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb ruled in a case against President Obama and the National Day of Prayer Task Force that the law is unconstitutional because it "...endorses prayer." We have posted case documents, including the deposition of Shirley Dobson of Focus on the Family (pictured), who leads the Task Force. Go.

You can see all JewsOnFirst.org reports and conversations here.



 
 
Portrait Photographer
Videos by JewsOnFirst.org
image loading Martha Schaerr, Stealth School Board Candidate in Montogomery County, Maryland. Schaerr is not telling voters she was a leader in the Christian right's fight to block the school district's new sex education curriculum -- primarily because it teaches acceptance of homosexuality. Go.

image loading Video in the Radio Talk Show Studio - Part Two of our on-the-air interview with Dan Gaffney, morning talk show host on WGMD-FM on Delaware's Eastern Shore. Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak of JewsOnFirst debates concepts including "absolute truth" and the relevance of Jesus with Gaffney and his callers. Go.

image loading Video in the Radio Talk Show Studio - Part One of our interview with Dan Gaffney, morning talk show host on WGMD-FM on Delaware's Eastern Shore. JewsOnFirst went to Delaware's Eastern Shore to report on the settlement of two Jewish families' lawsuit against the school district for sponsoring religion. Go.

image loading The Christian Zionist's Bible: A Jewish Perspective. Our new educational video on a challenging topic -- how some on the Christian right read "the Jews" into the New Testament -- features Dr. Michael J. Cook of Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati in conversation with Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak of JewsOnFirst.org. Go.

image loading An Enduring Passion: Sharon Raphael and Mina Meyer. On their 37th anniversary, Meyer and Raphael married in California. The political activism that has been a constant of their life together dates back to the founding of the gay liberation movement and it continues in their opposition to Proposition 8. Go.

Pastor John Hagee's Fixation on Iran: A Self-fulfilling Prophecy? We examine how the Christian Zionist leader's belief in the end times drives his hard-line political position on Iran, and ask: Is Hagee's Iran policy about Jewish safety? Or Christian Apocalypse? Go.

Pastor John Hagee's Preoccupation with the Jews. With narration by Ed Asner, our video shows a number of instances in which Christian Zionist leader Hagee's understanding of Jews and Judaism should give Jewish organizations that support him cause for concern. Go.

Campus Jewish group sponsors trailblazing forum on Christian Zionism. The complete recording of Christians, America, and the Holy Land -- Examining Christian Support for Israel, sponsored by the Chicago Friends of Israel at the University of Chicago. Go.

Iran and the End Times at Pastor John Hagee's 2008 Washington Summit. When John Hagee's organization, Christians United for Israel (CUFI) held its July 2008 summit at the Washington DC Convention Center, JewsOnFirst.org reporters were inside and outside. This video shows some of what we saw and heard, despite CUFI's extraordinary efforts to shield the meeting from public scrutiny. Go.
Buy Rabbi Michael Cook's book, featured in our video The Christian Zionist's Bible, from Jewish Lights Publishing. Click here.