Summer Lee Expresses Concern with Congressional Leaders Joining Antisemitic Bigot John Hagee on Stage

Nov 15, 2023
Press

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

Emilia.Rowland@mail.house.gov | 330.212.2065

Summer Lee Expresses Concern with Congressional Leaders Joining Antisemitic Bigot John Hagee on Stage

Lee condemns the appearance of far-right, antisemitic, Islamophobic pastor at ‘March for Israel’ and calls on all members to do the same.

(Washington, DC) – After congressional leaders from both parties shared the stage with antisemitic pastor John Hagee at yesterday’s March for Israel, Rep. Summer Lee (PA-12) released the following statement:

Lee said, “I’m deeply concerned that members of both parties shared a stage yesterday with noted antisemitic bigot John Hagee. This must be condemned.”

Link to tweet

On Background:

On the speakers list at yesterday’s March for Israel rally was far-right, extremist pastor John Hagee, the head of Christians United For Israel(CUFI). Hagee once said that the Holocaust was committed by “half-breed Jews.” Prime Minister Netanyahu meets frequently with Hagee, endorses CUFI, has spoken at numerous CUFI events, and lavishes Hagee and his organization with praise.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Republican nominee Senator John McCain publicly rejected the endorsement of far-right, antisemitic pastor John Hagee after Hagee’s comments that Adolf Hitler had been fulfilling God’s will by hastening the desire of Jews to return to Israel in accordance with biblical prophecy. Here’s the full quote:

“God says in Jeremiah 16: ‘Behold, I will bring them the Jewish people again unto their land that I gave to their fathers. … Behold, I will send for many fishers, and after will I send for many hunters. And they the hunters shall hunt them.’ That would be the Jews. … Then God sent a hunter. A hunter is someone who comes with a gun and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter,” Hagee said, according to a transcript of his sermon.

McCain said in 2008

“Obviously, I find these remarks and others deeply offensive and indefensible, and I repudiate them. I did not know of them before Rev. Hagee’s endorsement, and I feel I must reject his endorsement as well.”

CUFI, according to Hagee, is also the biggest lobbying group of any kind in the United States, with a reported 10 million American members, and their summit “Cornerstone” has become a required stop for ambitious GOP candidates. Recent keynote speakers have included former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, as well as Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick. Israeli political leaders understand CUFI’s political importance. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a video address to the annual CUFI summit in Washington, D.C., in 2018. 

“Now is the time to exterminate Hamas. End it and end it now,” Hagee said in a speech last month.

Hagee then bellowed, “Israel today! Israel tomorrow; Israel forever!” The line echoed one made famous by George Wallace, who advocated “Segregation now! Segregation tomorrow! Segregation forever!” During the former Alabama governor’s 1968 campaign for president, Hagee endorsed Wallace through a group called Wallace Youth.

Rep. Lee was also the first to call out the antisemitic record of GOP Leadership and Speaker candidates. Lee was the first to point out and condemn Steve Scalise’s history of antisemitism, including calling himself “David Duke without the baggage” and how he spoke at a white supremacist convention in 2002 who’s host organization said “Jews are the enemy of the white race and responsible for the ‘browning’ of America.” Lee was also the first to call out Jim Jordan’s history of spreading antisemitic tropes as chair of the Judiciary Committee, including multiple instances of spreading antisemitism and tweeting ‘Kanye. Elon. Trump’ and keeping it up after Kanye vowed to go ‘def con 3 on Jewish people.’ In this effort, Lee was joined by a coalition of anti-hate groups like Bend the Arc Jewish Action, ADC, America’s Voice, as well as US Capitol Police officers.

In response to the horrific Tree of Life Synagogue massacre and the increased trauma felt by the community during the trial, Rep. Lee has been working tirelessly to deliver a combined $1.5 billion in community project funding aid in the renovation process, educate against antisemitism and help the community respond to and heal from the ongoing trauma with the start of the trial. Lee has moved forward $1 million for the Tree of Life Foundation and $500,000 for 10/27 healing partnership in community project funding (formerly known as earmarks) which were both passed by the Appropriations Committee in June and awaits final passage as part of the FY2024 budget still awaiting a vote.

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