‘You live or die based on your support of Israel’ — Christian Zionists are no nightflowers!

The Hagel opposition in the Senate is strongest on the right, of course, and no one should ignore the role of the Pastor John Hagee’s rapture-ready Christian Zionist advocacy organization Christians United for Israel (CUFI), which hosted an “emergency summit” days before the now infamous Senate confirmation hearing on Hagel.

While the leading Israel lobby group AIPAC has maintained that it is neutral on Hagel’s nomination to be secretary of Defense, 400 of CUFI’s Christian leaders and some rabbis, too, from 46 states descended on Capitol Hill, “swarming Senate offices” in fierce opposition to Hagel. (Read Ron Kampeas’s report here.)

How does the Israel lobby work? Check out the above video of Hagee bragging on his methods of congressional persuasion, back in 2008. What follows is a transcript of the conversation with Daystar television host Marcus Lamb, beginning with Hagee talking about his visit to AIPAC, the lead Israel lobby group:

Hagee: They stood up and gave a thunderous applause of the things that was said. The Jewish leaders from all over America wrote me and said it was a historic day because you brought God’s presence to AIPAC and they said it was the turning of the tide for the Jewish community in America realized it was a new day where Christians truly were standing up for the Jewish people without a hidden agenda, without trying to get something for it. And it is a new day as people go to these 70 ‘Nights to honor Israel’ that we’ve had all over the nation. As pastors across the nation join Christians United for Israel and if you are a pastor watching this telecast and you want to become a part of Christians United for Israel I want you to go on line to CUFI.org or call me tomorrow and tell me who you are. I want to know your name because we have now 80,000 spiritual leaders in this nation and some of those spiritual leaders have a million and a million and a half names on their mailing list and email and we are talking to twenty eight to thirty eight, twenty eight to thirty million people every Monday morning in the intelligence report that I send out all over the nation. And when we go to Washington July 21, 22, 23 we are going before the government, just like Esther went before the government.

Lamb: Yeah

Hagee: It’s a practical effort to fulfill Isaiah 62; for Zion’s sake I will not be silent and I will not be quiet. Israel needs a strong voice in government other than themselves.

Lamb: Right, that’s right

Hagee: When a senator sees Mr. Goldberg coming he knows he is for the Jewish people but when he sees, when we took our Texas delegation of 850 people and our Senators saw them they thought ‘this is the whole national organization,’ I said ‘No, these are Texans that vote for you or against you based on your position of Israel.’ I said, ‘those two television cameras up there are recording what you are about to say and you live or die based on your support of Israel; you’re on.’

Lamb: Wow

Hagee: Whoa he walked up, I wanna tell you he was enthusiastic about it. But that’s what Israel needs in Washington is a voice. Washington doesn’t care if we go up there and sing Amazing Grace, they could care less. When you go in their office and say ‘I live in your district and I am here as a Christian to stand up for the nation of Israel.’ We give them talking points about what to say so every senator, every congressman hears the same message. But it’s very important that a Christian voice is practically doing something.

Marcus Lamb: That’s right, to benefit the Jewish State.

You live or die based on your support of Israel. How simple is that? None of this nightflower routine. And the talking points are streamlined– “I live in your district and I am here as a Christian to stand up for the nation of Israel”–  so there’s no mistaking, no wishy-washy stuff when the senators appear before the cameras.

Because I know how thrilling it is following CUFI, don’t miss this other blast from the past video (2007). Hagee introduces former and future Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who addresses the crowd (@ 6 minutes): “The greatest threat we’ve faced in 100 years” is, you guessed it, Iranian missles.

No better friends than…CUFI…..this common bond between us now stands as the pivotal axis

(Did he mean axis or access?) And don’t forget David Brog, executive director of CUFI. Other parts of the Israel lobby have remained neutral, or seemingly neutral for Hagel. Not Brog, as the Weekly Standard reminds us:

“CUFI opposes the nomination of Sen. Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary. While we admire his past service to our country, his record concerning Iran and Hezbollah indicates an unacceptable blindness to the greatest security threat of our day.”

According to a CUFI bio in ’07, The Forward  listed Brog in its “Forward 50″ most influential Jews in America. He also happens to be Ehud Barak’s cousin. Talk about access!

For more understanding of why Christian Zionists oppose Hagel’s nomination check out Jay Sekulow “one of the 25 most influential Evangelical Americans,” and Chief Counsel for Pat Robertson‘s American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). Or this Jerusalem Post article on how modern Christian Zionism was birthed, and why.

Oh what a tangled web!

(Hat tip Niko)

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 23 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. seafoid says:

    Hagee is so American. He could never have been spawned in Europe.
    Nobody buys that brand of Christian fundamentalism in the old country.

    • sardelapasti says:

      Seafoid – “He could never have been spawned in Europe.”
      You defined the main problem for the whole world.

    • W.Jones says:

      All the major European Churches care about centuries-old Christian traditions, even the churches that are “sola scriptura” (“Bible only”).
      Oxymoronic “Christian Zionism” is a more recent invention.

  2. American says:

    “I said, ‘those two television cameras up there are recording what you are about to say and you live or die based on your support of Israel; …” Hagee

    Well heck, looks like we have to have another Civil war.

  3. FreddyV says:

    I wouldn’t pay Hagee too much attention Annie. Most consider him a heretic. He’s got a big church and a big mouth but he doesn’t represent the majority of CZ’s.

    • just because he doesn’t represent the majority of CZ’s or regardless of what most people consider him, would you consider his influence nominal? and if it was nominal why do you think key people like netanyahu (or open the last link) pay him any mind? when hagee said ‘those two television cameras up there are recording what you are about to say …..you’re on.’ i did imagine he was actually there prepping a senator before he went on film, and i thought of those senate hearings where they mentioned israel 147 times on camera. i think the lobby works thru hagee, and i think the executive director of CUFI (“Forward 50″ most influential Jews in America) as well as ACJL’s Sekulow (“one of the 25 most influential Evangelical Americans,”), both jewish, both very connected to the lobby, can attest to that. so i’m not sure how one can dismiss the influence of hagee if he’s acting as an arm of aipac, which he clearly is.

      • Annie – – I agree with you that the Rev. John Hagee and his virtually insane notions are very dangerous. Wanting Jews to expel all Christians from “the Land of Israel”!

      • FreddyV says:

        Hi Annie,

        Sorry, I was a couple of glasses of wine in and made a quick post last night. What I mean is this. Hagee is basically a nutjob. AIPAC, Netanyahu and every Zionist knows this, but are grateful for his support. This is a good thing as it points that Zionism is utterly bereft of morals when it comes to supporting their cause. The fact that CZ theology demands that Jews convert or die is bad enough, but Hagee’s brand goes a step further and claims that Jews don’t need Christ in order for salvation.

        Here’s where it all goes wrong. As soon as good Christians and more importantly good Christian GOP politicians like McCain realise that Hagee is a heretic, the better. He’s doing enough damage by himself.

    • FreddV – - The Rev. John Hagee is much more dangerous that you appear to comprehand.

  4. Annie – - In effect, of course, the Rev. John Hagee is an Aipac stooge. Even if Hagee claims to want Jews to suffer eternal damnation.

  5. David Brog apparently fails to comprehend that Hezbollah would much prefer to concentrate its energies on improving the social and other conditions of the Shia community in Lebanon.

    Or, if he does grasp this fact, he conceals it from the grossly ignorant members of CUFI.

  6. RE: “You live or die based on your support of Israel. How simple is that? ~ Annie Robbins

    MY COMMENT: Simple enough for even a dimwitted ‘nut job’ like Michele Bachmann to understand.

    SEE: “Bachmann: America ‘cursed’ by God ‘if we reject Israel’”, By Andy Birkey, The Minnesota Independent, 02/08/10

    [EXCERPTS] At a Republican Jewish Coalition event in Los Angeles last week, Rep. Michele Bachmann offered a candid view of her positions on Israel: Support for Israel is handed down by God and if the United States pulls back its support, America will cease to exist.
    The Republican Jewish Coalition is the same organization that recently hired former Sen. Norm Coleman. . .
    . . . Here’s a transcript of some of her remarks at the RJC event:
    I am convinced in my heart and in my mind that if the United States fails to stand with Israel, that is the end of the United States . . . [W]e have to show that we are inextricably entwined, that as a nation we have been blessed because of our relationship with Israel, and if we reject Israel, then there is a curse that comes into play. And my husband and I are both Christians, and we believe very strongly the verse from Genesis [Genesis 12:3], we believe very strongly that nations also receive blessings as they bless Israel. It is a strong and beautiful principle.
    Right now in my own private Bible time, I am working through Isaiah . . . and there is continually a coming back to what God gave to Israel initially, which was the Torah and the Ten Commandments, and I have a wonderful quote from John Adams that if you will indulge me [while I find it] . . . [from his February 16, 1809 letter to François Adriaan van der Kemp]:
    “I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation. If I were an atheist, and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations. If I were an atheist of the other sect, who believe or pretend to believe that all is ordered by chance, I should believe that chance had ordered the Jews to preserve and propagate to all mankind the doctrine of a supreme, intelligent, wise, almighty sovereign of the universe, which I believe to be the great essential principle of all morality, and consequently of all civilization..”
    . . . So that is a very long way to answer your question, but I believe that an explicit statement from us about our support for Israel as tied to American security, we would do well to do that.

    SOURCE – link to minnesotaindependent.com

    • P.S. A PETITION AT “THE NATION” (MAGAZINE)

      Tell Boehner: Remove Michele Bachmann from the Intelligence Committee

      Dear Speaker Boehner:

      In service to ugly Islamophobic fear mongering, Rep. Michele Bachmann continues unabated in her unfounded and irresponsible attacks on dedicated public servants — a witch hunt that has targeted Huma Abedin, a key aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and now includes allegations that President Obama may be aiding the rise of global Sharia law.

      Conspiracy theories and religious McCarthyism should have no place in our government, especially in the House Intelligence Committee, on which Rep. Bachmann sits.

      Please remove Rep. Bachmann from her seat on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence immediately. Members of the House Intelligence Committee are entrusted with classified information that affects the safety and security of all Americans. That information should not be in the hands of anyone with such a disregard for honesty, misunderstanding of national security, and lack of respect for his or her fellow public servants.

      TO SIGN THE PETITION - link to thenation.com

  7. RE: “For more understanding of why Christian Zionists oppose Hagel’s nomination check out . . . this Jerusalem Post article on how modern Christian Zionism was birthed, and why. Oh what a tangled web!” ~ Annie Robbins

    REGARDING “HOW MODERN CHRISTIAN ZIONIST DOCTRINE WAS BIRTHED”, ALSO SEE: “Grace Halsell: De-bunker of Christian Zionist Doctrine”, by Stuart Littlewood, Palestine Chronicle, 8/11/12

    [EXCERPT] Not long ago I quoted American journalist Grace Halsell in an article about the damaging influence of the Scofield Bible, not realising how sorely she was made to suffer for setting out the truth.
    That article, ‘The Zionist cuckoos in Christianity’s nest’, showed how Cyrus Scofield corrupted the Biblical message and produced a propaganda classic that has been working its evil for 100 years.

    Scofield, a convicted criminal and described by one American newspaper as “a shyster”, was commissioned to re-write the King James Bible by inserting Zionist-friendly notes. The idea was to change the Christian view of Zionism by creating and promoting a pro-Zionist sub-culture within Christianity. The Oxford University Press appointed Scofield as editor, and the Scofield Reference Bible was born.
    It introduced a new worship icon, the modern State of Israel, which did not exist until 1948 but was already being ‘prepped’ on the drawing board of the World Zionist movement.
    It appealed to the impressionable and was seized on by religious chancers who have used inappropriate methods to establish a large and dangerously un-Christian fringe to the Christianity movement. They call themselves Christian Zionists.
    Here is how Grace Halsell explained the re-hashed Biblical message: “Simply stated it is this: Every act taken by Israel is orchestrated by God, and should be condoned, supported, and even praised by the rest of us. Never mind what Israel does, say the Christian Zionists. God wants this to happen…
    “Scofield said that Christ cannot return to earth until certain events occur: The Jews must return to Palestine, gain control of Jerusalem and rebuild a temple, and then we all must engage in the final, great battle called Armageddon. Estimates vary, but most students of Armageddon theology agree that as a result of these relatively recent interpretations of Biblical scripture, 10 to 40 million Americans believe Palestine is God’s chosen land for the Jews.”
    The problem, she said, was the belief system of Christian Zionists. “They believe that what Israel wants is what God wants. Therefore, it is perfectly acceptable to give the green light to whatever it is Israel wants and then conceal this from the American people. Anything, including lies, theft, even murder, is justified as long as Israel wants it.”
    Those pseudo-Christians, who would have us all believe that God is some kind of racist real estate agent, thereafter made her life a misery. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to palestinechronicle.com

    P.S. ALSO SEE THIS COMMENT BY ANNIE ON THE HISTORY OF DISPENSATIONALISM - link to mondoweiss.net

  8. W.Jones says:

    Christian Zionism is more oxymoronic than Liberal Zionism.

  9. Diamond says:

    Question for fellow commenters: When politicians like Lindsey Graham (ie from states with no Jews but where CZs can swing an election) kiss up to Israel to no end, think they are more concerned about getting noticed by Jewish Zionist donors or Christian Zionist voters?

    • JZdonors for sure. read the JTA kampeas link

      And on Tuesday, as the pastors were swarming Senate offices, CUFI published four ads in states where Democratic senators are thought to be vulnerable in 2014: Arkansas, Louisiana, Colorado and North Carolina.

      they don’t tow the line there’s an onslaught against them.

  10. sardelapasti says:

    I’d propose to spread the voice that Hagee is just a restyling of Hadji. The guy is just a camouflaged Moslem terrast. Spread the word!
    Hey, anything can happen with these crazies.

  11. These Christian tools of which i once was, have been cultivated, as the Queen Esther quoting Christians are apt to say ” for such a time as this”.

    from the Forward feb 2, 2007

    Malcolm Hoenlein being quoted.

    “In the beginning of the Iraq war they talked about the neocons‚ as a code word,” Hoenlein said. “Now we see that code words are no longer necessary.” He warned that the United States is nearing a situation similar to that of Britain, where delegitimization of Israel is widespread.

    “This is a cancer that starts from the top and works its way down,” he said. “It poisons the opinions among elites which trickle down into society.”

    According to Hoenlein, such critics tend not only to delegitimize Israel but also to “intimidate American Jews not to speak out.” He called on American Jews to take action against this phenomenon, saying that Christian Zionists seemed at times more willing than Jews to fight back.

  12. NickJOCW says:

    The tenets of CUFI appear to manifest elements of a familiar fatalistic Christian heresy arising from efforts to overcome the dichotomy between freewill on the one hand and the accomplishment of the purposes of an all-powerful God on the other. It’s roots lie in Calvinism and it was successively condemned by the Vatican in the 17th and 18th centuries. How strange to see it back again in 21st century America.

  13. Betsy says:

    hey folks — here’s a quick report from the rural South. In my work, I travel around backroads in the rural South. Over the years, I have often listened to Christian radio (as a devout and very Left Christian, I love the gospel music, even as the theology grieves me).

    I’m here to report that there seems to be a considerable increase in the air play of bizarre Christian Zionist radio programs on ordinary religious stations. Just an impression, but would be interesting to investigate. Some of it seems unusually sophisticated in its production values, music, etc. There’s more Hebrew & Jewish cultural content — e.g., music, little radio dramas. One program stood out from Sid Roth http://www.sidroth.org but in addition, there were others with cultish & elaborate “End Times” speculation on current events — e.g., showing that tornadoes, sudden disasters that smite anyone who criticizes Jewish people — within days, or at most a week. Pervasive dreadful racist views of Muslims & others in Middle East.

    WWJD (what would Jesus do) to respond to this hatefilled speech? It’s particularly disturbing that this kind of propaganda preys on people who are being hit hard by current US economy, in marginalized rural economies, where school & other public goods are hit by austerity. It’s pretty glossy stuff being purveyed to people who aren’t in a position to critically interrogate what they’re hearing.