Hagee's 'Christians for Israel' Meet in DC, Seeking Conflict With Iran

You have probably heard of Pastor John Hagee. Senator McCain, after seeking Hagee's endorsement, rejected it: "McCain told CNN's Brian Todd that he rejected Hagee's endorsement after Todd brought to his attention Hagee's comments that Adolf Hitler had been fulfilling God's will by hastening the desire of Jews to return to Israel in accordance with biblical prophecy," CNNreported on May 22.

But you might not be aware that unlike Senator McCain, Washington's right-wing "Israel Lobby" has not put any daylight between themselves and their close comrade John Hagee, or his "Christians United for Israel." When you say "Israel Lobby," people tend to think "AIPAC." Many people don't realize that a key component of the "Israel Lobby" consists of people who call themselves Christian.

CUFI - which announces on its home page that the President of Iran is "a new Hitler in the Middle East" - remember what happened the last time that designation was applied? - is holding its Third Annual Washington-Israel Summitin Washington, D.C July 21-24 at the Washington Convention Center. The schedule suggests that Hagee is still a key player in the right-wing "Israel Lobby," and that like the rest of the Lobby, a top priority for CUFI is promoting confrontation between the United States and Iran.

The program includes Senator Lieberman; Brad Gordon, Co-Director of Policy and Government Affairs at AIPAC; Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy; Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy; Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum; William Kristol of the Weekly Standard; and Representative Mike Pence, co-sponsor of the resolution demanding that the President seek to impose a blockade on Iran. (The resolution is starting to face opposition; co-sponsors Frank and Wexler have come out against the blockade language, and yesterday Representative Clay removed his name as a co-sponsor.)

CUFI sessions include "Iran: Eye Of The Storm" and "How to Stop Funding the Enemy: Divestment, Sanctions and Boycotts." Wednesday, July 23 will be "Christians United For Israel Day On Capitol Hill, in which "Registered attendees will meet with their elected officials throughout the day and present the Biblical positions of our support of the nation of Israel." It's a safe bet that promoting confrontation with Iran will be high on the agenda. Of CUFI's "Examples of Past Rapid Response Action Alerts," two of them concern Israel and Palestine ("Urge President Bush Not to Pressure Israel to Make Territorial Concessions") and three concern Iran.

United for Peace and Justice has issued a Call to Action for events nationwide against war with Iran on July 19-21. This would be a great opportunity to put CUFI's advocacy of confrontation with Iran on the radar of the media.

Robert Naiman is National Coordinator of Just Foreign Policy, a membership organization devoted to reforming U.S. foreign policy to reflect the values and serve the interests of the majority of Americans. Naiman edits the daily Just Foreign Policy news summary. JFP's web site is www.justforeignpolicy.org.

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