A quick update on John Hagee: According to various reports , Joe Lieberman is planning an encore at this July’s Christian United for Israel “summit” in Washington, delivering the keynote address. Last year he spoke at the same event and called Hagee an “ish elohim,” a man of God, comparing him to Moses.
John McCain finally had the good sense to drop Hagee, at least publicly; Joe is still ready to give his seal of kashrut to a brand of support for Israel that includes explaining the Holocaust as God’s way of chasing the Jews back to the Land. (In that light, it’s not surprising that Hagee does not want Israel to give up West Bank land for peace. Why should a few more Jewish shahids matter?)
Also reportedly scheduled to appear at Hagee’s fest is Rep. Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat whose district includes Riverdale.
J Street is running an online petition campaign to convince Lieberman not to go. Here’s the link . If you live in Riverdale, you might want to drop a line to Rep. Engel about his plans.
While I’m on the subject, I should explain why I oppose political alliances with Hagee, while favoring negotiations with Syria or even Hamas. It’s simple: You create alliance with friends, with people whose views roughly align with yours, whose goals you do not mind legitimizing by your alliance. You sometimes negotiate with bitter opponents, as way of adjudicating conflict without resorting to arms. In the latter case, your attitude is “suspect him and respect him,” as the Hebrew expression goes; and you know that if all diplomatic options fail, it may be necessary to conduct policy by other means.
Various US presidents were willing to negotiate with Soviet leaders. It didn’t mean that they sought their endorsement in the next elections, or that they wanted to be the keynote speaker at the next CP convention. They engaged in diplomacy to avoid unnecessary war.