I feel a bit like I’m Alice in Wonderland and John Hagee is the Mad Hatter. Today, he conceded that there is pro-Israel nationalist rhetoric that even embarrasses HIM. He was referring to this Der Shturmer-like ad smearing Naomi Hazan. Apparently, he didn’t cotton to J Street’s tying his previous anti-Semitic remarks to Im Tirtzu’s hateful anti-peace rhetoric via a $200,000 gift to the latter from his Christians United for Israel:
Im Tirtzu’s political leanings are clear. This is a pro-settler group, with $100,000 of funding from Christians United For Israel, a conservative Christian Zionist organization run by Pastor John Hagee, who once stated that God sent Hitler to drive Jews to Israel.
JTA is the source of this fascinating news. But not willing to earn credit for breaking such a great story, it typically puts its foot into it by being far too credulous in accepting the veracity of right-wing Jewish sources. Clearly, the CUFI publicist, Ari Morgenstern, fed the JTA reporter a pro-Hagee line and he accepted it hook line and sinker.
First, the reporter alleges that J Street’s attack on CUFI for its gift to Im Tirtzu is the same type of “guilt by association” used by Im Tirtzu against the New Israel Fund (i.e. blaming NIF for the actions of its grantees in cooperating with Goldstone). This is utter nonsense and clearly fed to JTA by CUFI. J Street’s goal was to indict Im Tirtzu. CUFI was merely a tool for it to do so. If J Street had intended to impugn CUFI there are far more powerful tools than a $200,000 donation to use–like Hagee’s own misbegotten words.
JTA’s second error caused by accepting CUFI’s PR line, is this inaccurate rebuttal of the J Street quotation above:
The [J Street] statement cit[ed] an eschatological analysis from the late 1990s that Hagee has since repudiated.
Bruce Wilson and Rachel Tabachnick, the activist founders of Talk2Action, rebut this claim by noting that Hagee made this statement in 2005 and has never repudiated it. In fact, they have the video to prove it. The only ‘repudiation’ that happened was John McCain renouncing Hagee’s presidential candidacy endorsement just after Talk2Action released the video footage. I have also blogged about this Hagee sermon here.
CUFI’s Ari Morgenstern seems to be the PR flack of choice for the far-right pro-Israel lobby groups. He mixed it up here with a Shelly Adelson-funded former client by claiming the latter promoted the film Obsession, only to have the client deny it, after which Morgenstern dropped a dime on her. I love it when the pro-Israel right turns on each other and (proverbial) blood runs in the streets.
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