Jewish American progressive groups are fuming over a decision by organizers of today’s pro-Israel rally in Washington to book a controversial evangelical pastor as a speaker.
Pastor John Hagee is a right-wing evangelical Christian Zionist in favor of Israel annexing the West Bank, who liberals and conservatives alike have criticized for statements he’s made on the Holocaust and other views critics say are racist and antisemitic.
Hagee will be addressing the rally, even though no other Jewish clergy members are on the speakers’ list.
“Contrary to what I was told, Pastor John Hagee will be speaking at today’s rally. I am horrified that he was given this platform. His history of hateful comments should disqualify him from decent company, much less from speaking on stage. He is not welcome and should not speak,” tweets Americans for Peace Now president Hadar Susskind.
Rabbi Josh Weinberg, the vice president of the Union for Reform Judaism for Israel tells The Times of Israel that he was surprised by Hagee’s inclusion and did not know who invited him to speak.
Weinberg asserts that it was still important for him and other progressive Jews to participate in today’s event, but laments that Hagee, “does not reflect the values of our movement to put it mildly.”