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Why Did Elie Wiesel Speak at CUFI?

Eli Wiesel

Eli Wiesel

Why has Elie Wiesel, the renowned author of Night, a book which many consider to be part of the canon of 2oth century literature spoken at a CUFI (Christians United for Israel) conference? This is astounding considering that CUFI is an apocalyptic organization which holds some very strange, some would characterize Anti-Semitic views. It is also an organization that is virulently anti-Muslim and Islamophobic.

This is a letter that some concerned individuals in the Jewish Community sent to Mr. Wiesel in the hope that he would cancel his speech at CUFI.

An Open Letter to Elie Wiesel

Dear Mr. Wiesel,

Your years of tireless campaigning for human rights and against anti-Semitism have earned our deepest respect. For this reason we have written the following letter in hope that you will reconsider your support of events sponsored by John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel. We realize that the outward show of support for Jews and Israel, on display at Hagee’s CUFI events, can be very enticing but there is another aspect of Christian Zionism which we believe runs strongly counter to Jewish and Israeli interests.

John Hagee teaches “theological racism,” the idea that the destiny of peoples is based on their biblical genealogy. Hagee claims Jewish souls are different from those of gentiles and that, according to divine plan, Jews have no right to live anywhere on Earth but in Israel. Hagee’s fellow Christian Zionists predict that a coming, divinely ordained paroxysm of anti-Semitic violence, a “second Holocaust,” will be necessary to force all Jews to make aliyah. From the pulpit, pastor Hagee and his fellow Christian Zionists preach their theological racism that risks provoking such a catastrophe.

When you attend CUFI events, you will receive a great deal of outward affection and participate in singing and celebration that looks and sounds Jewish. However, this is a manifestation of a volatile millennial cycle, an exuberant embrace of “Hebrew roots” founded on the expectation that this generation will bring about the fulfillment of “God’s plan for Israel.” There is some argument among Christian Zionists about the exact timing and details of this plan, but on one point they are absolutely consistent; the ingathering of Jews to Israel, and the elimination of Rabbinic Judaism as part of Israel’s “restoration,” are required for the 1000 year reign of Christ.

Our combined years of research have produced a substantial body of documentation on the anti-Semitic face of Christian Zionism. Last May, one small piece of that documentation was widely publicized through a video by Bruce Wilson that included a quote, from a sermon John Hagee gave in 2005, in which pastor Hagee stated “…then God sent a hunter. A hunter is someone with a gun and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter.” Amidst the ensuing publicity, presidential candidate John McCain rejected Hagee’s political endorsement.

John Hagee’s attacks on Judaism are well documented and have included calling Hillel an extremist whose followers incited both the killing of Jesus and centuries of anti-Semitism. From the pulpit Hagee has claimed that the anti-Christ is “partially Jewish, as was Adolf Hitler.”

Hagee also preaches that European-based Rothschilds control the US economy, through the Federal Reserve, and conspire to attack the American middle class by devaluing the dollar. According to the ADL, this class of Federal Reserve conspiracy theory, which names Rothschilds, is a “classic anti-Semitic myth.” ADL traces it to Christian Identity, one of the most overtly anti-Semitic sectors of American society but one which uses “Hebrew” symbols and Christianized version of Jewish holidays because, according to Identity theology, Christians, not Jews, are the “true Israelites.”

Christian Identity’s roots are based a millennial movement that was “philo-Semitic,” but which in the early 20th century rejected Jews as impostors descended from Esau and the Edomites. This narrative can still be seen throughout Identity media. In his 2006 book Jerusalem Countdown, Hagee promotes a similar theological claim, that a lineage of “half-breed Jews,” descended from Esau and which included Adolf Hitler, have persecuted full-blooded Jews throughout history. Hagee writes that God intends to exterminate that “half-breed Jew” line.

Christian Identity’s overt anti-Semitism has very limited appeal and reach. Cloaked in the guise of “love” for Jews and Israel, John Hagee’s conspiracy theories and theological racism can be consumed without guilt by listeners in the 190 nations Hagee claims to reach through Christian television and radio broadcast networks.

How can John Hagee so sincerely and convincingly claim to love Israel while introducing theological racism to a international audience?

The widely taught prophecy narrative of the “fishers and hunters” of Jeremiah 16 helps to explain this paradox. Christian Zionists see themselves as the “fishers” who must befriend and cajole Jews, through emotional and financial support, to fulfill their prophetic destiny. Meanwhile, the “hunters” are overt anti-Semites who will force the remaining Jews of the world to flee to Israel. In order for the Christian Zionist prophecy of the “restoration of Israel” to be fulfilled, there must be a future wave of violent anti-Semitism in which the world will turn on Jews and Israel.

The quote which our research team provided to the press from Hagee’s 2005 sermon series, “Jerusalem Countdown,” concerned Hitler’s role as a “hunter” in the “fishers and hunters” narrative. But Hitler did not succeed in forcing all Jews to flee to Israel, and even those Jews who have settled in today’s modern state of Israel have not met the prophetic requirement of “spiritual restoration,” which is acceptance of Jesus. In his 2005 sermon Hagee also stated, “they [the Jews] are physically alive but they’re not spiritually alive. Now how is God going to cause the Jewish people to come spiritually alive…”

Many Christian Zionist leaders describe their prophecy of the “time of Jacob’s trouble” as the second or final holocaust of the Jews. Tom Hess, in Let My People Go, pleads with Jews to leave the U.S. before it is too late, and Hess details his vision of trains all over the world taking Jews from major cities. In her best-selling fictional portrayal of the Jewish people, Israel My Beloved, Kay Arthur has portrayed the coming persecution to be “beyond the horrors of Sobibor, Treblinka, and Auschwitz.” Richard Booker’s Blow the Trumpet in Zion features a list, on the back cover, of the book’s topics, including “Why Christians Should Love Jews” and “The Jews’ Final Holocaust.” Booker explains that nothing less than this “final holocaust” can bring the Jews back to God, and Jesus can not be king of all the world until Jews accept him. Paradoxically, these Christian Zionists seek to “bless Israel” and show their “love” for Jews through fulfillment of a prophecy in which Judaism is eradicated.

All three of these Christian Zionist leaders have become involved in the Knesset’s Christian Allies Caucus, which is working to raise millennial expectations to a fevered pitch – with the endorsement of the Israeli government. Some may view their support as politically valuable, but Christian Zionists are helping to spread around the globe a dangerous obsession with Jews and Israel.

Mr. Wiesel, you have spent your life teaching the world about the dangers of anti-Semitism. Please do not provide legitimacy to John Hagee and other Christian Zionists who have spent their careers teaching that the elimination of Judaism is the will of God and the divine plan for Israel. Yes, the exuberant singing, dancing, and tears of Christian Zionists are indeed a celebration of their love for Israel – but that is a strange and terrible love, not too far from hate, which seeks a very different Israel than the one of Jewish hopes and a very different future for the world than the vision of peace and coexistence for which you have fought all of these years.

Sincerely,
Bruce Wilson
Rachel Tabachnick

Notes:
Elie Wiesel is scheduled to speak at John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church on Sunday, October 25 for a CUFI Night to Honor Israel event.

Bruce Wilson is the co-founder of Talk2action.org and produced the nationally televised video clip on Hagee’s 2005 sermon series, “Jerusalem: Countdown To Crisis”. (Despite Hagee’s comments, the quote came from a 2005 sermon in which Hagee later referred to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.)

Rachel Tabachnick also contributes to Talk2Action.org and is the author of “God’s Plan for Israel, The End Times Prophecy Narrative of Christian Zionism,” a free teaching resource on CD.

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  • Rob

    Look at this youtube video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjMRgT5o-Ig

    Pastor Hagee calls for a unilateral strike on Iran for the protection of Israel. The crowd responds like they are at a rock concert. A hall full of Christians baying for blood. Think about that! A pastor has just advocated (and has probably retracted his comments by now)a pre-emptive attack on Iran that would rip flesh from the bones of the innocent.

    It is for the Lord to decide who is innocent and worthy of death. Vengeance belongs to Him. Sure, God might use other nations to wage war to punish others as he did frequently in the Old Testament. However, more often than not, it was a Godless nation that God summoned to be his instrument of wrath. E.g Babylonians, Romans, Assyrians (that’s the extent of my knowledge of Old Testament bad guys).

    These people in the video are the victims of living a Texan life. They are insular.

    How is this attitude consistent with the Scriptures? How? Here is just a few random lines from the Bible:

    Matthew 22:37-38 – ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    Matthew 6: 32-36 – “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. 35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

    These verses come straight from Jesus. It’s not rocket science to understand, but it is terribly hard to do I admit. Surely these Texans (Christians United for Israel)have lost their focus on Jesus Christ. They have become too focused on the protection of Israel. They assume they can interpret geo-political events from Texas. They are probably misguided into thinking that they are doing God’s will. I put it to you Texans, that if God wanted to protect Israel, he wouldn’t need American firepower…unless he wanted to repeat his preferred method of using a Godless nation as his instrument of wrath.

    http://therantingrob.blogspot.com/2009_12_01_archive.html

  • FromAdamToMohammed

    T, that’s not all, i’ve seen some saying that life for Jews in America is too comforatable and that they’ll never move to Israel unless something happens in America.

    They won’t say it out loud, because they can’t, but they hope for another WW2 like scenario, to scare Jews into moving to Israel.

    The belief of these right wing Christians is that the Messiah can’t come unless all Jews are in America. They see the “Islamists” as their secret allies in hastening that, and secretly rejoice that Jews are being “threatened” by Islamists.

    The World Net Daily is one such site, (Joseph Farah is one of the above described Christians from this cult)

    They hire people like Walid Shoebat, Brigitte gabriel (paid to lie) to spread their lies.

    Their evil all backfires as everything they do and touch turns to dust. Look at their success rate in anything they do, or try, it’s all zero. That’s why mainly they’re from the lowest echeleons of society. As Evangelicals move up the social scale they nearly always dump that brand of Christianity. It’s happening in America now.

  • T.

    Right-wing Christians love Jews the same way wolves love sheep. I’ve been around people like that enough to see the way they celebrate whenever Jews are killed, especially when there are children among the dead. I’ve seen them thank God for violence in Israel. The more heinous the violence, the happier they are, because they take depravity to be a sign that Jesus will be returning soon. Their “love” of Jews and Israel is an act and nothing more. Israel is a major part of their end-of-the-world fantasy, but the truth is that they see Jewish people themselves as less than human.

  • M J Rosenberg of Israel Policy points to Max Blumenthal’s video clip and article in Alternet, regarding Elie Wiesel, Pastor Hagee and how they are feeling the heat from the new left wing lobby J Street, set up to challenge the right wing AIPAC which has had disproportionate influence over American foreign policy.

    J Street has non Jewish including Arab and other Muslim members too.

    ———

    Scorching. Max Blumenthal Eviscerates The Lobby’s Best Friends (Videos Too)
    October 29, 2009, 9:00AM
    http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/talk/blogs/mjrosenberg/

    Scorching. Max Blumenthal Eviscerates The Lobby’s Best Friends (Videos Too)
    October 29, 2009, 9:00AM

    This is a must read and a must watch, especially now that AIPAC and its friends are struggling to deal with the J Street phenomenon which, following its blockbuster of a conference, is now a force they must reckon with.

    Max Blumenthal takes on the Israeli ambassador, Elie Wiesel, John Hagee, Jeff Goldberg and Michael Goldfarb in one beautiful piece of truth-telling.

    It’s all here.
    http://www.alternet.org/story/143589?page=entire

    Elie Wiesel’s Shocking Stage Appearance with Mad Preacher and Anti-Semite John Hagee

    By Max Blumenthal, AlterNet. Posted October 29, 2009.
    ——-

    Interested readers can check out M J Rosenberg’s blog here, he has excellent reports exposing neo con fanatics
    http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/talk/blogs/mjrosenberg/

    Max Blumenthal has done some excellent video’s exposing Pastor Hagee, the right wing settler movement, and neo con and the Christian Zionist movement and how they distort foreign policy to suit their theoogical views

    http://maxblumenthal.com/

  • Somone should tell Elie Wiesel the problems that Christian Zionist groups like CUFI pose to the Jewish people and Israel. Their support comes with missionaary strings attached.

    I invite any Jewish readers to check out this blog, by Ellen Horowitz, that takes a critical look at Christian Zionism and Evangelical support for Israel. It goes behind the scenes to bring you the truth.

    Jewish Israel

    http://jewishisrael.ning.com/page/about-jewish-israel

    Due to the numerous political, economic and security hardships facing both Israel and the Diaspora, large sectors of the Jewish community in Israel have become dependent upon evangelical Christian political influence and charity.

    While much of this support appears to be benign and benevolent – and some is indeed sincere – Israel’s embracing and accepting of Christian fundamentalist sponsored activities and philanthropy has been exacting a serious cost and adversely affecting both religious and secular individuals and groups throughout the private and public sectors of Israeli society. Our Jewish values and heritage are being compromised.

    * There are ongoing and rampant – overt and covert – attempts to proselytize new immigrants; victims of terror and war; the expelled residents of Gush Katif ; and the economically and socially challenged sectors of Israeli society.

    * Under the guise of “Religious Freedom”, certain evangelical groups are behind lobbying and legislative efforts which challenge halacha and threaten the very nature of the Jewish state. Christian fundamentalists enjoy U.S. Congressional and State Department support in their efforts to bolster and legitimize “messianic Jewish”(Christian) institutions in Israel. Representatives and supporters of a determined Christian agenda are actively working in the legislative, judicial and social service branches of the Jewish state.

    [Note: the dependence on evangelical support and pressure from evangelical factions has prevented the Knesset from enforcing and adopting appropriate anti-missionary legislation in response to missionary overtures]

    * Libelous charges of violence and church persecution are regularly and increasingly leveled against the Orthodox community and counter-missionary organizations in Israel.

  • James

    talib,

    That article from Chris Hitchens was before he sold out. Interesting reading his pre-9/11/pre-Iraq War articles. He’s made a lot money since then.

  • Rosenthal_69

    Emperor, please insert some kind of link for the Mr. Elie Wiesel, Night and CUFI.

  • Keshner

    Holocaust For Zion : CUFI’s Christian Zionism Made Simple
    http://www.talk2action.org/story/2007/3/2/172519/7931
    By Bruce Wilson

    Christian Zionism tells Jews: “The world is very, very hostile to the Jews. Antisemitism is everywhere. We Christian Zionists believe that Jews’ proper home is in Israel, which we believe God has given to the Jews for perpetuity. We are 100% behind Israel.” That is the message Pastor John Hagee, founder of the new “pro-Israel” lobbying group “Christians United For Israel” ( CUFI ) conveys to Israelis and American Jews. a statement on the home page of CUFI’s website reads: “The Bible commands us 6to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6), to speak out for Zion’s sake (Isaiah 62:1) to be watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem (Isaiah 62:6) and to bless the Jewish people (Genesis 12:3). These and so many other verses of the Bible have one overriding message – as Christians we have a Biblical obligation to defend Israel and the Jewish people in their time of need.”.
    That is the sort of language Pastor John Hagee chooses to present as the public face of “Christians United For Israel”. In spontaneous, perhaps somewhat less guarded moments, a different aspect of John Hagee emerges:
    Russia with Arab allies will plot and plan Israel’s destruction. That’s happening right now. It has been happening for 10 years. Iran’s nuclear weapons have been produced with Russian scientists. The Islamic Arabs are using the Roadmap to Peace to get all of the land of Israel they can get. And when Israel finally says, `Enough!’ you’re going to see the beginning of the implementation of Ezekial’s war in 38:39. The critical point is the church is raptured before this war begins. I am telling you that makes this message one of the most thrilling prophetic messages you’ve ever heard in your life. You could get raptured out of this building before I get through finished preaching. We are that close to the coming of the Son of Man. – Pastor John Hagee, from a September 18, 2006 interview in WHYY’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross
    Friends Of Israel and AIPAC Envision “Israel’s Final Holocaust” and “Jew Toast”
    TTA contributor Chip Berlet, Senior Analyst for Political Research Associates, provides some background on the recent history of “New World Order” conspiracism among John Hagee’s fellow Christian Zionists such as Tim LaHaye and Pat Robertson in The Age Old Conspiracy
    Previous installments in an ongoing series, by several authors, on John Hagee and Christian Zionism:
    “Pro Israel” Christian Leader Blames Jews For The Holocaust

    Donohue Softpeddles Hagee’s Catholic Bashing
    Max Blumenthal : AIPAC Cheers an Anti-Semitic Holocaust Revisionist (and Abe Foxman Approves)
    Sarah Posner: The Goy Who Cried Wolf: The Israel lobby gives America’s leading Christian right warmonger a warm welcome

    Max Blumenthal : Israel, the US, and the Christian Right: The Menage a Trois From Hell

    Bill Berkowitz : Holy Warriors Set Sights

    on Iran

    Esther Kaplan : Christian Zionism all juiced up

    Richard Bartholomew : Armey: Bush Believes in Tribulation, but not Trying to Make it Happen

    Sarah Posner: Lobbying For Armageddon

    “As Bush’s War Strategy Shifts to Iran, Christian Zionists Gear Up for the Apocalypse”

    “Apocalyptic preacher John Hagee says McCain is ‘on target'”

    “Can Giuliani Be the Armageddon Candidate?”

  • talib

    What reputation? Weisel has long beene xposed as a zionist hypocrite who refuses to condemn Israeli atrocities while loudly condemning atrocities against Jews. He will speak of the lessons to be learned from the holocaust then refuse to condemn the Jewish state for its opressions

    Weisel Words by Christopher Hitchens
    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20010219/hitchens

  • Ustadh

    He needs to distance himself from this group. It will sully his work and reputation.

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