It is certainly fair to object to this interpretation. But it is quite another thing to cite this one line in isolation to create an image of Pastor Hagee that is completely at odds with his life's work.
J Street intentionally obscures the fact that John Hagee has devoted his entire career to combating anti-Semitism.
J Street ignores the fact that American Jewish leaders from Elie Wiesel to Abraham Foxman, and Israeli leaders from Prime Minister Netanyahu to Ambassador Michael Oren, have all recognized Pastor Hagee as a leading Christian ally in the fight against anti-Semitism. And J Street neglects to mention Pastor Hagee's expression of regret for any pain his sermon may have caused and his pledge to be more sensitive in his future theological speculation.
Yet no one should be surprised that J Street has resorted to such distortions to shut opposing voices out of the debate. The group's disdain for opposing views extends all the way to Israel itself.
Most pro-Israel organizations, including Christians United for Israel, support the positions of the democratically elected government of Israel. We do not live within Hamas or Hezbollah missile range. We do not send our children off to the Israeli army. Whatever our personal views, we in CUFI believe that the difficult decisions about Israeli policy must be made by those who will most directly bear the consequences of the decisions: the Israeli people.
J Street's leaders, by contrast, are confident that they know better than Israel's voters. Like many in the pro-Israel community, J Street supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and American pressure on the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table and cease anti-Israel incitement.
Unlike many of us, however, J Street also favors U.S. pressure on Jerusalem, continuing to see Israel as a barrier to peace despite the Palestinians' repeated rejections of Israeli offers of statehood. Rather than persuade the Israeli people through reasoned debate, J Street has sought to override their will through American fiat.
The stakes are high and the time is short. Iran has announced that it will begin enriching uranium to even higher levels. Hezbollah and Hamas continue to stockpile missiles. We in the pro-Israel camp need to come together to combat these existential threats to the Jewish state we all love.
The time has come for J Street to be true to its founding principles and devote itself to a serious debate on the merits. If it continues its present course, J Street's only contribution to the Middle East debate will be to import into it the ugly aspects of America's broken politics.
David Brog is the executive director of Christians United for Israel. Before joining CUFI, Brog served as chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter.
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