John Hagee Tries To Explain His Hitler Comments
He falls short, as far as I’m concerned. Using his long-time friend, Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg, of San Antonio’s Rodfei Sholom Orthodox synagogue for cover, Hagee made this statement:
“…what has been disappointing has been to see my life’s work – the great passion of my life – mischaracterized and attacked. I have dedicated my life to combating anti-Semitism and supporting the State of Israel. In taking a stand for Israel I have received death threats from anti-Semites and neo-Nazis, and I’ve had the windows of my car blown out beneath the windows of the rooms in which my children slept. To hear people who know nothing about me or my life’s work claim that I somehow excuse the Holocaust is simply heartbreaking.
Let me be clear — to assert that I in any way condone the Holocaust or that monster Adolf Hitler is the worst of lies. I have always condemned the horrors of the Holocaust in the strongest of terms. But even more importantly, my abhorrence of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism has never stopped with mere words.
I have devoted most of my adult life to ensuring that there will never be a second Holocaust. I have worked tirelessly to eliminate the sin of anti-Semitism from the Christian world and to ensure the survival of the State of Israel.
I have traveled the country teaching Christians to love the Jewish people and stand with Israel. Our ministry has given over $30 million for humanitarian causes in Israel. I founded Christians United for Israel to bring together all pro-Israel Christians into a movement that can support Israel during these very challenging times.
…our search for an explanation for evil must never be confused with an effort to excuse it.
What is more important than how we answer the question of where was God during the Holocaust is what we as men and women do here on earth to make sure that there will never be another Holocaust. We must give meaning to the words “Never Again” through our actions. It is to this effort – this effort to fight anti-Semitism and to support Israel – that I now return. Thank you.”
While Hagee has consistantly professed his love of Israel, he still believes that the Bible prophesied that the Jews would be driven there by “hunters” and that one hunter was Hitler. Of course he loves Israel, because the Bible says that on the last day of the world (and Hagee is an end-times preacher) the Jews in Israel will all accept Jesus. Hagee may love Israel because of what the Bible says, but Jews are seen as eventual converts. That is the theology of Hagee. Hagee writes in Jerusalem Countdown that Jews will survive the Battle of Armegeddon in order to have “the opportunity to receive Messiah, who is a rabbi known to the world as Jesus of Nazareth.”
And Scheinberg appears to agree with Hagee’s comments about Hitler:
When Jews in Germany allowed their devotion to erode and didn’t observe the Torah fully, God allowed Hitler to commit genocide and then bring about the state of Israel as a remedy, Sheinberg believes.
“It’s not that (Jews) caused it but that the way we act in the world – if we cease to be a light to the nations, there’s greater evil in the world,” he said. “That’s taught in seminary and yeshiva and that’s for a philosophy class when one could contemplate such things. It’s not for headlines in the newspaper.”
Scheinberg further defended Hagee theologically:
“Pastor interpreted a Biblical verse in a way not very different from several legitimate Jewish authorities,” Scheinberg said. “Viewing Hitler as acting completely outside of God’s plan is to suggest that God was powerless to stop the Holocaust, a position quite unacceptable to any religious Jew or Christian.”
Rabbi Eric Yoffie of the Union for Reform Judaism, agrees that Hagee, in spite of being in sync with Joe Liberman, is not the kind of friend Jews need.
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“Christian Zionists, and especially Christians United for Israel, do not offer unconditional support for the Jewish state. They offer support for a particular religious vision, particular Israeli leaders, and particular political factions, all of which reflect their own prophecy-driven view of the Middle East,” Yoffie said in an April speech, calling Hagee and his group “extremists.”
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