In May 2008, then-GOP presidential candidate John McCain renounced a hard-won political endorsement senator McCain had gained from Texas megachurch pastor and Christians United For Israel founder John Hagee only a few months prior, after mainstream media picked up on an audio recording, from a sermon Hagee gave in late 2005, in which pastor Hagee stated his view that Hitler and the Nazis were divine agents sent by God to chase Europe's Jews towards Palestine. Scrutiny of Hagee has to this day failed to notice an even more offensive statement; in his book Jerusalem Countdown, still on bookseller shelves in 2009, John Hagee claimed that Adolf Hitler was born from a lineage of accursed, genocidally murderous "half-breed Jews."
Since May 2008, both media coverage of, and Democratic Party attendance at, Hagee's CUFI events have slacked off dramatically, while Hagee has sought to regain the national media spotlight. A July 20th, 2009 "exclusive interview" Hagee gave with US News and World Report's Dan Gilgoff suggests the effort made be bearing fruit.
But friendly and uncritical treatments of Hagee such as Gilgoff's can only serve to rehabilitate CUFI kingpin John Hagee's reputation to the extent that they ignore the established record of Hagee's anti-Jewish, anti-Catholic sermon statements and writings as well as John Hagee's history of promoting of crackpot conspiracy theories claiming Jewish bankers rule America through the Federal Reserve and the Texas pastor's pattern aggressive and determined campaigning for a Mideast war. Hagee's Federal Reserve conspiracy theories bear considerable resemblance to similar theories promoted by Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party prior to and during World War Two.
In the "revised and updated" 2007 version of John Hagee'a book Jerusalem Countdown on page 149 in a chapter with the ominous title "Who Is a Jew?", Hagee wrote,
"God promised to be at war with the descendants of Esau and Amalek forever...
Esau's descendants would produce a lineage that would attack and slaughter the Jews for centuries. Esau's descendants included Haman, whose diabolical mind conceived the "final solution" of the Old Testament -- the extermination of all Jews living in Persia. It was Esau's descendants who produced the half-breed Jews of history who have persecuted and murdered the Jews beyond human comprehension.
Adolf Hitler was a distant descendant of Esau."
The claim that Hitler was partly Jewish is generally considered by historians to be extremely unlikely, but that theory has traction among adherents to what is probably the most virulently anti-Semitic tendency in Christianity, Christian Identity -- a religious tendency that arose in North America in the 20th Century and which has been associated with acts of domestic terrorism within the US.
Prior to media publicity, in May 2008, of a selected few from John Hagee's numerous anti-Jewish statements and writings, journalistic treatments of Hagee tended to gloss over disturbing aspects to the CUFI leader's claim to be a friend to Jews and Israel -- such as a July 22, 2007 San Antonio Express News story titled "S.A. Pastor Champions For Israel" that nonetheless quoted pastor Hagee as stating the following, about liberal American Jews,
"I think if I could put a dividing line, the Orthodox and Conservatives who have a Torah appreciation give us wholehearted support. The rest [of Jews] who are not driven by the Word of God have a liberal agenda.
And the liberal agenda is they are pro-abortion. They're pro-homosexual. They're pro-gay marriage -- they want men to marry men and women to marry women -- and their difference with me is not really what I'm doing with Israel. Their hostility to me is poisoned by their liberalism."
Pastor Hagee's claim that Hitler was "a half-breed Jew" was not the only instance in which Hagee has claimed Adolf Hitler was partially Jewish. In a March 16, 2003 sermon that Hagee gave on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq, that was broadcast internationally, pastor Hagee told his San Antonio, Texas Cornerstone Church mega-flock that, "There's a phrase in Scripture used solely to identify the Jewish people. It suggests that this man [the Antichrist] is at least going to be partially Jewish, as was Adolph Hitler, as was Karl Marx."
[below: YouTube video widely credited with triggering John McCain's rejection of John Hagee's political endorsement.]