July 9, 2019
(RNS) — This week, the largest Israel lobby group in the United States, Christians United for Israel, will hold a two-day “summit” in Washington, D.C., featuring high-profile speakers such as Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Many of the event’s attendees and featured guests will profess their abiding love and support for Israel and Jewish people.
In reality, right-wing Christian supporters of Israel like CUFI pose a grave danger to the safety and well-being of both Jews and Palestinians, as well as to hopes for a true and lasting peace in the Holy Land. Anyone who actually listens to CUFI’s leader, the Rev. John Hagee, will be horrified at the meeting’s toxic blend of anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia and sexism.
Hagee and his more than 5 million followers believe that the establishment of Israel in 1948 and its subsequent military occupation and colonization of Palestinian and other Arab lands are the fulfillment of biblical prophecy and the necessary precursors to the return of Jesus Christ and the coming of the apocalypse.
Once this final theological drama begins, they believe, gentiles and Jews will be judged, and those who accept Jesus as the Christ will be saved, and all others will be condemned to the eternal fires of damnation. Everyone else is expendable, including the Jews they claim to love so much.
Hagee and the rest of his triumphalist crew actively pursue their conviction that all Jews must return to Israel and rebuild a Jewish Temple in the Noble Sanctuary mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem (one of the most sensitive religious sites in the world). That done, they will convert to Christianity or face death.
In Christian Zionist theology, Israel can’t be divided into two states for the sake of peace; Jerusalem must be united under Israeli control. Non-Jews (meaning Palestinians) must be expelled.