By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country
Televangelist and Christians United for Israel President John Hagee has posted a fascinating interview with Jewish thinker and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. I've transcribed a few of the most interesting and provocative exchanges below. You can watch the full video here.
Hagee: We have established in America Christians United for Israel to make it possible for millions of Christians to stand up and sp eak up for the state of Israel . . . . Would you express your thoughts about Christians unifying and coming to Washington to speak to senators and congressmen on behalf of Israel?
Wiesel: My dear pastor, in the past—the distance past—whenever Christianity unified its ranks, it was against the Jewish people. For the Crusades and the pogroms—it was always like that. Now, when I hear that Christians are getting together in order to defend the people of Israel, of course it brings joy to my heart. And it simply says, look, people have learned from history.
We are seeing right now anti-Semitism exploding in America and around the world. Saudi Arabia is giving millions of dollars to American universities to hire Middle Eastern academic chairs to teach our children to hate Israel and the Jewish people. Do you feel that the new anti-Israel position that's developing in this country is nothing more than a new face of anti-Semitism in America?
I cannot say that I am against anyone criticizing Israel. I cannot do it. I simply cannot. I feel that my life has been given to me not so as I can criticize the Jewish land, Jerusalem, which is at the center of my life. I cannot do it. But I cannot censor anyone who says, "I want to criticize certain parts."
But if it goes beyond the pale, that anti-Zionism becomes so easily anti-Semitism, and therefore we must be so careful. Whenever anyone does that, criticizes Israel, I say, "What are your credentials?" Have you ever praised Israel? Have you ever defended Israel? Have you ever been on the side of Israel?.
I believe the Jewish people are currently facing the greatest threat to their existence since the Holocaust. And specifically I'm talking about [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad and Iran. He very specifically said he considers wiping Israel off the map and denies the Holocaust while threatening a nuclear Holocaust in our times. What are your thoughts about this man who ' s threatening Israel , and the events of 1936, '37, '38?
Without making comparisons, I must say that this man is a disgrace to humanity. The fact that he shamelessly stole the elections in Iran and the world is not really responding to that crime, to that scandal, is beyond me. This man is the No. 1 Holocaust denier in the world.
This man publicly, repeatedly says that he needs, that he wants nuclear weapons to wipe off the Earth one Jewish state. This man should be arrested and brought to Hague to face the international tribunal and charged with the incitement of crimes against humanity.
He does not deserve to be a president of any country. He should never be accepted anywhere as a guest, neither to New York nor to Paris, nor anywhere. He must be a persona non grata all over the world.