After audiotape surfaced earlier this month of right-wing televangelist Pastor John Hagee preaching that God sent Hitler to cause the Holocaust so that Jews would move to Israel, many organizations and individuals, including J Street, MoveOn, and Brave New Films, called on Senator McCain to renounce the endorsement from Pastor Hagee that McCain had sought. Finally, on Thursday, Senator McCain did so.
As J Street noted after McCain's announcement, "Hagee and his so-called 'pro-Israel' organization, Christians United for Israel," are "part of a larger effort by radical Christian Zionists, Bush-style neoconservatives and right-wing Jewish leaders to impose their extremist views on American foreign policy." They promoted the war in Iraq and are now promoting war with Iran. They undermine peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians with support of illegal Israeli settlements and opposition to territorial concessions by Israel.
Unfortunately, as J Street notes, "John Hagee's ties to mainstream American politicians and prominent Jewish leaders run very deep, including strong connections to prominent politicians" like Senator Lieberman (scheduled to speak at CUFI's conference) and Representative Elliot Engel, "as well as some mainstream Jewish leaders and community organizations."
The most prominent of those "mainstream organizations" is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Hagee is so close to AIPAC that he gave the keynote address at the 2007 AIPAC conference - just over a year ago. Brad Gordon, Co-Director of Policy and Government Affairs at AIPAC, is scheduled to speak at the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) conference on July 21. Hagee is the Founder and National Chairman of CUFI.
But despite the renewed attention to John Hagee's noxious worldview, AIPAC has remained silent about the controversy.
Join Jewish Voice for Peace and Just Foreign Policy in asking AIPAC to renounce its ties to John Hagee.
Here is our simple petition to AIPAC:
Howard Kohr, Executive Director, AIPAC
David Victor, President, AIPAC
Please join Senator John McCain in renouncing your ties to Pastor John Hagee. Legitimizing Pastor Hagee's views in American political discourse is an obstacle to peace in the Middle East.