At White House Hanukkah party, Trump hails pastor who preaches Jews go to hell
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At White House Hanukkah party, Trump hails pastor who preaches Jews go to hell

President gives a shout-out to pro-Israel preacher Robert Jeffress at signing of executive order to withhold funds from colleges that allow anti-Semitism on their campuses

President Donald Trump is greeted by Pastor Robert Jeffress at the Celebrate Freedom Rally at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, July 1, 2017. (Olivier Douliery/Pool/ Getty Images via JTA)
President Donald Trump is greeted by Pastor Robert Jeffress at the Celebrate Freedom Rally at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, July 1, 2017. (Olivier Douliery/Pool/ Getty Images via JTA)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Robert Jeffress, a pastor who has said Jews and other non-Christians were destined for hell, was a guest at US President Donald Trump’s Hanukkah party.

Jeffress, who is pro-Israel, was invited to Trump’s signing of an executive order on Wednesday that would withhold funds from schools that allow anti-Semitism on their campuses, including some forms of anti-Israel activity. The White House Hanukkah parties were on the same day.

“Robert Jeffress, I see you right here,” Trump said at the first of two parties. “And what a tremendous faith leader you are and a tremendous man you are. Pastor, thank you for being here so much, also. We appreciate it.”

Jeffress has preached for years that non-Christians (which includes Mormons, according to his theology) may be good people, but nothing but the acceptance of Jesus as God saves one from an eternity in hell.

“Not only do religions like Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, not only do they lead people away from the true God, they lead people to an eternity of separation from God in hell,” he said in 2009.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, called out the Trump administration last year for inviting Jeffress to give the convocation at the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem. In his defense at the time, Jeffress said his views were commonplace among evangelical Christians.

In this Monday, May 14, 2018 photo, American pastor Robert Jeffress shakes hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following Jeffress’ speech during the opening ceremony of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Jeffress posed for a photo at the party with Alan Dershowitz, a leading pro-Israel advocate and prominent attorney. Trump is thinking of adding Dershowitz to his impeachment defense team.

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