OAKLAND, California, Jun 16 (IPS) - The battle lines over Pastor John Hagee have been drawn, redrawn, and are no doubt being drawn again as this is being written. The San Antonio, Texas-based mega-preacher with the multi-million-dollar empire has always been controversial, but these days, the pastor is a lightning rod for critics.
And as the days pass leading up to Hagee's annual Christians United for Israel (CUFI) conference in Washington next month, new revelations of his anti-Semitism have come to light.
At last year's CUFI conference, Senator Joseph Lieberman called Hagee "an Ish Elochim", saying he is "a man of God, and, like Moses, he is the leader of a mighty multitude."
When it was first revealed that Hagee had made a series of anti-Catholic remarks, critics, including Bill Donohue of the conservative Catholic League, went ballistic. Hagee apologised. When Hagee blamed gay people for causing Hurricane Katrina, many were offended. Hagee offered up a half-hearted apology and quickly moved on.
However, when Hagee's remarks about Hitler being sent by God to force the Jews to pack their bags for Israel became a You Tube sensation -- and then garnered the attention of the mainstream media -- longtime allies in the Jewish community began to question what Hagee was up to.
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