comment by Jerry Gordon
The following was a note sent to Senator Joe Lieberman’s Washington Senate office, Chief of State, Ms. Clarine Nardi Riddle following his appearance as a key speaker at the CUFI Washington Summit for Israel on Tuesday night. It mirrors some of the comments made by Senator Lieberman in this Jerusalem Post article, notwithstanding the swirl of alleged controversy surrounding Pastor Hagee’s views.
I received a call from my colleague Brigitte Gabriel , this morning. She along with other mutual friends had attended last night’s stunning CUFI dinner in Washington.
Having attended and written about the first CUFI Washington Summit for Israel in 2006, I know first hand the overwhelming palpable love and support for Israel and for Jews.
I was pleased that my friend, the Senator spoke there last night. He showed the mainstream media and the Jewish community and press what friendship means. He also showed that you don’t abandon friends, even when you may disagree on certain issues.
Hagee had no need to redeem himself despite the fact that among his followers, a few believe that he is not ‘bearing witness’ and proselytizing among American Jews.
Because of Hagee’s earnest, deep abiding love for Israel and the Jewish people and the tens of millions of Christian Evangelical Americans, including many that I have met and befriended both in Connecticut and here in Florida, Israel has enormous support.
Both Sen. Lieberman and my colleague Brigitte Gabriel are among those who demonstrate solidarity and are not intimidated by the ministers of misinformation in the media.
Kol hakavod (all honors) to the Senator, Brigitte Gabriel and you.
by Hilary Leila Krieger, JPost Washington Correspondent, The Jerusalem Post, July 23, 2008
Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Connecticut) backed controversial pastor John Hagee during an appearance before Hagee’s organization Tuesday night despite calls from some quarters of the Jewish community to cut ties with the preacher.
Hagee’s previous comments on the Holocaust and Catholics inflamed some Jewish and Christian groups, and also led presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain, whom Lieberman strongly supports, to reject Hagee’s endorsement earlier this year.
Lieberman, a frequent surrogate for McCain, arranged Tuesday’s appearance before Christians United for Israel independently, according to the campaign. But one campaign aide, referring to outreach among evangelicals, said, “Are we happy that he’s there? You bet we are.”
Alluding to an “aggressive campaign” to stop him from speaking at the gathering, Lieberman told the crowd that “the bond that I feel with Pastor Hagee and each and every one of you is much stronger, and I am proud to stand with you tonight.” His words elicited an extended standing ovation from the annual CUFI gathering, in town to lobby Congress to support Israel, complemented by the waving of hundreds of American and Israeli flags.
Lieberman noted that he didn’t agree with everything Hagee has said, some of which had been “hurtful and offensive to some people,” but that they agreed on more important issues.
Hagee was widely criticized when previous statements he made calling the Catholic Church “the great whore” and claiming that God allowed the Holocaust so Israel could be created surfaced this spring.
Lieberman also suggested that Hagee’s objectionable comments had been taken out of context by a media that would, he offered, have given Moses and Miriam a hard time, too.
During his remarks, Hagee lashed out more harshly at the press, with its “dark motives,” and said the organization had come through “a vicious media firestorm.” At the same time, he called for greater sensitivity and welcomed Catholics, to whom he has apologized, into CUFI. He also rejected beliefs he said were often ascribed to him in error, including the idea that his group supports Israel so that it will “usher in the endtimes” by bringing all the Jews to Israel or that he wants to stop peace negotiations. “Israel alone decides,” he said.
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