Jews Must Convert or Die; The anti-Semitic Face of Christian Zionism


CUFI Leader John Hagee confirms Christian Zionism is anti-Semitic

Ben Norton

Evangelical pastor John Hagee, the leader of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the US’ largest pro-Israel organization and the most powerful group in the Christian Zionist movement, has adamantly insisted that Christian Zionism is anti-Semitic.

WorldNetDaily (WND), a far-right website published an article in March 2015 about the “Blood Moon Prophecy,” an end-of-times theory that lunar eclipses are a sign that the world is on the brink of destruction and that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is near. The lengthy piece is about Hagee’s film Four Blood Moons, which endorses the eschatological theory. Toward the end of the article, WND quotes a spokesperson for Hagee:

“WND falsely claimed that Hagee does not believe that Jews need Jesus to be saved. In fact, Hagee never made such a claim and years ago directly denied assertions that he holds a dual-covenant theology,” he wrote. “In addition, while WND acknowledges that Hagee rewrote sections of ‘In Defense of Israel’ to clarify his relevant position, WND failed to note that the associated video promotion was also changed to accurately reflect his theology.”

Translated: WND claimed that Hagee believed the Jewish people could be saved by God without abandoning Judaism and converting to Christianity. Apocalyptic Christian Zionist John Hagee censured the publication for spreading a lie and defensively clarified that he does indeed believe that the Jewish people are going to burn in Hell for all of eternity unless they abandon Judaism and convert to Christianity.

In short, Hagee firmly insisted that Christian Zionism is anti-Semitic, and that the reason CUFI so obsessively and blindly defends Israel is not because they care about Jews (who, in their mind, will face eternal damnation unless they renounce their religion and become Christians) but rather because they genuinely believe the world is on the verge of total annihilation and the Bible supposedly tells them they must do so.

Christian Zionism

Christian Zionism is the belief that God gave the Jewish people the land of Israel in historic Palestine. Christian Zionists hold that this is part of a biblical prophecy, and is a necessary prerequisite before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the ensuing Day of Judgment.

This is not a view shared by all Christians, yet is very common among Evangelicals and conservative Protestants. In recent years, it has gained prominence in the US, particularly in the Bible Belt. A late 2013 Pew Research study found 82% of white evangelical Christians in the US believed God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people, while only 40% of US Jews believed the same.

John Hagee is the leader of CUFI, the most powerful Christian Zionist organization in the US, and likely in the entire world.

Some Jewish and Zionist organizations have criticized Hagee and the Christian Zionist movement. Eric Yoffie, former president of the Union for Reform Judaism, publicly proclaimed that, vis-à-vis “Israeli-Palestinian politics, John Hagee and the CUFI are extremists.” Yoffie “called for Reform congregations to not participate in CUFI’s events and to continue to call for public condemnation of inflammatory and bigoted statements from Christian Zionist leadership.”

Many Jewish and Zionist organizations, however, see Hagee and CUFI as important allies. At the CUFI 2013 Summit, Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations—a coalition of 51 US Jewish groups, including some of the most prominent—voiced support of biblical Christian Zionist prophecies. “The prophets were not prophets of doom but prophets of hope; you just have to read it right,” he told them. “Here’s my advice: Don’t bet against the Jews. And the ‘Jewish lobby’ is a myth, but it’s our job to make it a legend.”

Israel itself has been more than happy to support CUFI. Ron Dermer, Israeli Ambassador to the US, spoke glowingly of the organization at its 2014 summit. Prime Minister Netanyahu has also enthusiastically supported the group, and has spoken at several of their annual summits.

Hagee’s History of Extreme Views

Hagee, who thinks we are the last generation of humans, is no stranger to controversy. In late 2014, he claimed that Ebola (along with the civil rights protests in Ferguson and elsewhere) was God’s way of “punishing” America, because Obama was trying to “divide” Israel.

The pastor has even gone so far as to essentially defend Adolf Hitler.  In a 2005 sermon, Hagee asserted that God sent Hitler as a “hunter,” in order to “hunt them [Jews] from every mountain and from every hill and out of the holes of the rocks … to get them to come back to the land of Israel.”

Once again, these are the views of the leader of, in CUFI’s own words, “the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States with over two million members and one of the leading Christian grassroots movements in the world.”

The Washington Post indicates that CUFI “can boast that it has members from every congressional district in America.” Foreign Policy included John Hagee in its list of the 50 Republicans with the most influence on foreign policy. The evangelical Christian Zionist was a much sought-after figure by the Republican Party in the 2008 presidential election. He ended up endorsing John McCain.

WND’s founder and CEO Joseph Farah responded positively to Hagee’s firm insistence on his Christianity-rooted anti-Semitism. “I’m happy to hear that Hagee no longer subscribes to those anti-biblical positions,” he said. “But we never asserted what Hagee believes, only what he said on videotape. I’m gratified he has repudiated all of that. It’s time for him to clean up another mess.”

Like Hagee, Farah resolutely maintains that Christian Zionism is, in its very essence, an anti-Semitic ideology, as, in his view, it is an “anti-biblical position” to claim that Jews are not automatically damned to eternal suffering in a lake of fire merely by virtue of their being Jewish.

 

‘Half-Breed Jew’ Committed Holocaust, Claims Netanyahu Ally John Hagee


hagee-armageddon

[Comment:- someone please tell the Israeli government that the only reason this porcine toad is a Christian Zionist is because he’s praying for God to kill all the Jews, so that the Christians can have the land Israel stolen from the Palestinians.  And that by doing so, he is objectively pro-death, pro-sabotage and pro-theft. With genocidal “friends” like Hagee, does Israel need enemies?!]

Main article by Bruce Wilson

‘Half-Breed Jew’ Committed Holocaust, Claims Netanyahu Ally John Hagee

Who committed the Holocaust?

For the overwhelming majority of historians and, needless to say, Jews it’s a settled question: Hitler, and his Nazis. But Christians United For Israel (CUFI) head John Hagee, one of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s closest American allies, has a different answer: “half-breed Jews.” Netanyahu meets frequently with Hagee, endorses CUFI, has spoken at numerous CUFI events, and lavishes Hagee and his organization with praise. Prime Minister Netanyahu is currently scheduled to speak at CUFI’s annual Washington summit, July 13-14 2015. John Hagee book Jerusalem CountdownHagee’s Christians United For Israel organization currently sells a book by pastor John Hagee, Jerusalem Countdown: A warning To The World, which on page 149 (2006 “revised and updated” paperback edition) claims Adolf Hitler was a “half-breed Jew” and states (p. 97) that Hitler was sent by God, as a “hunter,” to persecute Europe’s Jews and drive them towards “the only home God ever intended for the Jews to have-Israel.” In 2008 media uproar over Hagee’s “hunter” claim (as made in a 2005 sermon that was exposed by this author) led presidential candidate John McCain to renounce his long-sought endorsement from pastor Hagee. Hagee’s claim that Hitler was Jewish is not new. In a 2003 sermon broadcast internationally and marketed as a VHS cassette, John Hagee claimed [link to video of sermon] the Antichrist would be “partially Jewish, as was Adolf Hitler, as was Karl Marx.” CUFI head John Hagee also blames anti-Semitism on Jews themselves, writing in Jerusalem Countdown (p. 56) that “It was the disobedience and rebellion of the Jews… that gave rise to the opposition and persecution that they experienced beginning in Canaan and continuing to this very day.” Hagee’s book then traces (p. 57) the birth of anti-Semitism to Jewish idol worship:

How utterly repulsive, insulting, and heartbreaking to God for his chosen people to credit idols with bringing blessings he had showered upon the chosen people. Their own rebellion had birthed the seed of anti-Semitism that would arise and bring destruction to them for centuries to come.

In Hagee’s account “half-breed Jews,” Hitler included, have served as the human agents by which God implements a divine curse placed upon the racially pure (non-miscegenated) Jewish people. On page 149 of Hagee’s book Jerusalem Countdown, in a chapter with the ominous title “Who Is a Jew,” Hagee writes,

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.

In his next sentence, Hagee goes on to make the false claim that in the 1976 book Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography, noted Hitler biographer John Toland “records that Hitler was part Jewish.” What Toland actually stated in his Hitler biography was “There is the slight possibility that Hitler’s grandfather was a wealthy Jew named Frankenberger or Frankenreither.” Hagee’s identification of a miscegenated race of “half-breed Jews” tracing back to Esau seems to originate in theological ideas from the fringe, virulently racist white supremacist Christian Identity movement, as described in books such as Religion and The Racist Right: The Origins of the Christian Identity Movement, by leading authority Dr. Michael Barkun. While John Hagee has for decades loudly and publicly condemned anti-Semitism, his writings and sermons have nonetheless promoted some of the most influential and inflammatory anti-Jewish tropes of the modern era, such as the claim that predatory Jewish bankers control international finance and prey upon the masses of humankind.

John Hagee sermon, March 23, 2003

John Hagee, giving March 23, 2003 sermon

In a March 23, 2003 sermon broadcast internationally, Hagee claimed European Rothschild bankers, along with David Rockefeller, controlled the U.S. economy through the Federal Reserve — which according to Hagee was bankrupting average Americans by devaluing the dollar. The Jewish Anti-Defamation League identifies this type of Federal Reserve conspiracy theory, that places Jewish bankers at the center of the proposed grand financial conspiracy, as a “classic anti-Semitic myth”

promotional poster for Nazi propaganda film The Eternal Jew

Promotional poster for Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda film “Der Ewige Jude” (“The Eternal Jew”)

Hagee’s Jewish banker conspiracy theory was astonishingly similar to claims showcased in the 1940 anti-Jewish Nazi propaganda film The Eternal Jew, said to have been produced under supervision of Hitler’s propagandist Joseph Goebbels [link to video footage] . The Nazi film claimed (see link, above) that Jewish bankers, led by European Rothschilds, had “spread their net of financial influence over the working man” and were using their influence over global finance to “terrorize world [money] markets, world opinion, and world politics.” In his March 23, 2003 sermon, that was marketed by John Hagee Ministries as a 3-VHS cassette tape series, Hagee explained [video link], to his megachurch members and to audiences viewing Hagee’s sermon on evangelical radio and TV networks across the globe:

It may be shocking to you but I believe that America’s economic problems are not created by market conditions, they are planned and orchestrated to devalue and to destroy the value of the dollar. It was done by an unseen government that I’ll discuss later in this message. [..] Our economic destiny is controlled by the Federal Reserve system that is now headed by Alan Greenspan. Think about this. It is not a government institution. It is controlled by a group of Class A stockholders including the Rothschilds of Europe and the David Rockefellers of America… So get this one thought. The value of the dollar is controlled by an agency which is not controlled by America. You don’t have to have a Ph.D. in finance to understand that. The value of your dollar is controlled by an organization, the Federal Reserve that is not controlled by America. That’s a fact.

packaging of 2003 Hagee sermon series Iraq The Final War

Packaging of John Hagee’s 2003 3-sermon VHS set Iraq: The Final War, that contained Hagee’s March 23, 2003 sermon

Hagee also aired his Jewish banker conspiracy theory in his 1996 book Day of Deception that was reprinted in 2000 in an edition billed as having sold “over 1.1 million copies.” Hagee’s Day of Deception is still sold, by Thomas Nelson publishers. In the book, Hagee makes clear that European Rothschilds (not Rockefellers) have majority shareholder control of the Federal Reserve. In his March 23, 2003 sermon, Hagee predicted that Jewish financiers were behind a satanic Illuminati plot, based in Europe, that would bring the Antichrist to power. This Antichrist, who in a prior sermon Hagee had predicted would be both partially Jewish and homosexual, would according to Hagee [video link] slaughter up to 1/3 of the world’s population and “make Hitler look like a choirboy”. Hagee’s claim that Hitler was “partially Jewish” fits into an emerging American right-wing revisionist genre, with both evangelical and secular expressions, that is rewriting the Holocaust by recasting the victims of Nazi persecution, such as Jews, liberals, communists, and homosexuals, as having been themselves the architects of Nazi persecution and the Holocaust. John Hagee’s pro-Israel form of Christian Zionism is an extremely complex phenomenon which over the past several decades has come to play a significant role in Israel politics. (see this analysis, from Boston-based think tank Political Research Associates, by PRA Fellow Rachel Tabachnick, on the tortured admixture of philo-Semitism and anti-Semitism that characterizes the movement). But Christian Zionism is not new. In the early 1920s, a leading American industrialist — one of the giants of his age, wrote,

Every Jew ought to know also that in every Christian church where the ancient prophecies are received and studied, there is a great revival of interest in the future of the Ancient People. It is not forgotten that certain promises were made to them regarding their position in the world, and it is held that these prophesies will be fulfilled. The future of the Jew, as prophetically outlined, is intimately bound up with the future of this planet, and the Christian church in large part-at least by the evangelical wing, which most Jews condemn-sees a Restoration of the Chosen People yet to come. If the mass of Jews knew how understandingly and sympathetically all the prophecies will find fulfillment and that they will result in great Jewish service to society at large, they would probably regard the church with another mind.

 Henry Ford's The International JewThe author was Henry Ford, who in the 1920s commissioned the writing of the infamous anti-Jewish tract series The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem that expanded upon anti-Jewish conspiracy theories outlined in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the notorious anti-Jewish propaganda document forged by the Russian Tzarist secret police.

Henry Ford placed blame for the start of World War One squarely on Jewish finance. “I know who caused the war: German-Jewish bankers,” declared Ford in 1915. In his 1920 tract series, articles such as “Jewish Power and America’s Money Famine” attributed the economic misfortunes of average Americans, such as farmers, to alleged Jewish control of gold supplies. Henry Ford paid for The International Jew to be translated into German and distributed in mass quantities in Germany. In post-WW2 testimony at the Nuremberg War Crime Tribunals, it emerged that Ford’s anti-Jewish tract had deeply influenced leading Nazis such as Hitler Youth leader Baldur von Schirach. The extended quote above, by Henry Ford, was originally published in Ford’s tract series The International Jew. As may be the case with some contemporary Christian Zionists, Ford did not believe himself to be an anti-Semite. For years the automaker annually gave a new Model T Ford to Rabbi Leo M. Franklin, who lived in Ford’s former Detroit neighborhood.

After Ford began publishing his series The International Jew, Franklin began to refuse Ford’s annual Model T gifts. When Ford questioned the rabbi about it, Franklin replied, “you’re attacking Jews. I can’t accept anything from you.” Ford replied, “No, I’m not attacking Jews, I’m attacking bad Jews. I would think you’d be supportive of that.”
Rabbi Franklin went on to become a co-founder of the Anti-Defamation League.

In Europe, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia go hand in hand


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In Europe, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia go hand in hand
Both scourges are projections of the illiberal mind
 
Paul Hockenos

Paris — The spate of anti-Semitic violence in Europe might appear to justify Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for European Jews to move to Israel where, he claims, Jews can be safe.

“Of course, Jews deserve protection in every country,” Netanyahu said on Feb. 15, “but we say to Jews, to our brothers and sisters, ‘Israel is your home.’ We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe.”

Europe’s Jewry should nevertheless reject Netanyahu’s call. It’s a populist ploy ahead of Israel’s March 17 election. Jewish citizens in Europe should instead be active participants in the societies in which they live, continuing to promote democracy, civil liberties and tolerance of diversity as they have done energetically in the past, to Europe’s enormous benefit.

Nowhere, even in long-established democracies such as France, can the liberal order be taken for granted. Every generation has to fight anew to maintain (or even, in a best case scenario, improve on) the quality of democracy as its circumstances change. Anti-Semitism is one challenge to this struggle, Islamophobia another. The two illiberal ideologies and their implications for open societies are more closely linked than they appear.

Anti-Semitism in Europe

Anti-Semitism is on the rise across Europe, propelled by familiar and new antagonists. The Jan. 9 shooting of four Jewish shoppers at a kosher supermarket in Paris followed a string of lethal assaults on Jews across the continent in 2014. Last month an attack on a synagogue in Copenhagen, Denmark, left one man dead and two police officers wounded. The incident forced Jewish schools in Belgium and France to close temporarily. Last year the Jewish Museum in Brussels was bombed. At least eight synagogues were attacked in Europe in July 2014. In Germany, Jewish men wearing the skullcap, or kippa, were harassed, cursed and beaten up on the street.

A 2012 European Union survey of 6,000 Jews in eight European nations, which together account for 90 percent of Europe’s Jewish population, found that 66 percent believed anti-Semitism was on the rise in Europe; 76 percent said anti-Jewish sentiment increased in their country since 2007. In a survey a year later, almost half of the respondents said they were concerned about being verbally insulted or attacked in public. Seventy years after Auschwitz’s liberation, which is being commemorated across Europe, Jewish graves have been desecrated, and Jewish citizens are uncomfortable in certain neighborhoods, particularly those with high proportions of Muslims.

Anti-Semitism is not a new phenomenon in postwar Europe. But its usual standard bearers were Europe’s far-right groups. Far-right and populist groups still propagate hatred toward Jews, although in its more muted form than in recent decades. (There’s an anti-Semitic stripe in the far left as well, closely linked with anti-Americanism and sympathy for the Palestinian quest for statehood.) Parties such as the National Front in France, Austria’s Freedom Party and Belgium’s Vlaams Bok have long traded in anti-Semitism. Opinion polls show residual anti-Semitism in most European populations, which is largely understood as a reaction to globalization, modernity and urban values. In Central and Eastern Europe, where there was no postwar reconciliation, anti-Semitism burns hotter as part and parcel of old-school volkish nationalism.

Muslim leaders have to fight anti-Jewish mindsets as actively as Europe’s Jews must help dispel the falsehoods fueling the anti-Islam discourse.

But the far-right anti-Semites now have a more opportune target: Islam. The same tools and tropes that were once used to create fear of and resentment toward Jews have been turned against Muslims. They claim that Muslims are swamping their countries and diluting their national cultures — claims once made against Jews. Whereas Jews were claimed to partake in blood rituals, Islam is cast as an inherently violent religion and all Muslims as threats to European security and identity.

Germany’s PEGIDA movement, which took to the streets in Dresden and elsewhere in Germany in late 2014 and early 2015, offers a perfect example. While PEGIDA’s foremost target was the Muslim community, its closeness to neo-Nazi groups and anti-Israel currents was manifest. One man with an Israeli flag was chased from a PEGIDA demonstration, and marchers carried posters reading “Just say no to Israel” and “Let Germany finally be Germany,” the latter a resentful reference to Germany’s war guilt and coming to grips with the Holocaust. Just as contemporary anti-Semitism is often strongest in places with no Jews, PEGIDA support was the highest in Dresden, a city with a population less than 0.5 percent Muslim. In other words, as with anti-Semitism, Islamophobia is highly irrational.

Muslim anti-Semitism

The chief perpetrators of anti-Semitic violence and terrorist attacks, however, are not the far right ideologues but radicalized elements in Europe’s Muslim community. It goes without saying that not all Muslims are anti-Semitic. (Collective guilt is almost always wrong-headed.) But polls show that anti-Semitism is strikingly high among European Muslims, particularly younger Muslim men and women.

A recent French survey found that 74 percent of French Muslims said they believe Jews have too much influence over the nation’s economy. (The figure among non-Muslim French was 25 percent.) Seventy percent of French Muslims said that Jews control the country’s media. A 2013 study by the EU found that Jews in Europe felt most threatened by Muslims in their societies. Günther Jikeli in his new book, “European Muslim Antisemitism,” corroborates these findings and argues that anti-Semitism is pervasive in the beliefs of young European Muslims.

The reasons for the new anti-Semitism are part socioeconomic, part political. So far, the young Muslims involved in the recent attacks against Jews have almost always been the kind of poor, disenfranchised young men whose circumstances breed resentment and anger. In Islam they find a home and identity. The politics of Israel in the Middle East have thrown fuel on the fire consistently over the last two decades; the ongoing violence against the Palestinians in Gaza is only the most recent agony. The emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant has facilitated the mix of a toxic cocktail that targets Jews across Europe.

But Jews are not necessarily safer in Israel than they are on the streets of Paris or Berlin. Europe is facing an enormous challenge in reacting to this new element in its midst and defeating it without encouraging more converts to radical Islam. We saw this happen in the aftermath of United States’ wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, in response to the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, the Central Intelligence Agency’s black sites and the drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

On Feb. 14, the European Jewish Congress called for enhancing existing anti-racism legislation, which is enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights. It envisions prohibiting the wearing of the full-face veil everywhere in Europe, punishing denial of the Holocaust and hate speech and outlawing praise for a terrorist act. But the proposal is not constructive in the long run. Such measures cast suspicion on all Muslims and would work to alienate rather than integrate.

European countries must devise a way to make Muslims feel part of their societies. Here in Paris it is stunning to experience firsthand how abruptly the City of Light ends at the banlieues, the tenement housing on Paris’ periphery where much of the migrant population lives. Here one leaves the urban wonderland of museums, fine restaurants, graceful apartment buildings and good jobs and enters the underworld of poverty, marginalization, unemployment and ugliness.

There are many ways that French and other European societies can reach out to their Muslim neighbors. This could mean interfaith dialogue, common civic initiatives, integrated schooling and more inclusive governance structures. Projects such as Germany’s Schule Ohne Rassismus, a nonprofit that fights racial bias against Jews, Muslims and others in secondary schools across the country should be replicated elsewhere in Europe. Ultimately, all Europeans, including Muslim communities, must insist on more democracy, civic culture and tolerance. Muslim leaders have to fight anti-Jewish mindsets as actively as Europe’s Jews must help dispel the falsehoods fueling the anti-Islam discourse. This is the way to beat the twin menaces of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

Paul Hockenos is a journalist living in Berlin. He has covered the transformations of the EU for over 25 years.
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera America's editorial policy.