Radical cleric Rev. John Hagee just can’t stay out of trouble. He’s spent the last few weeks trying to moderate his image so as to mitigate the damage his past statements have done to John McCain’s campaign. But speaking on a conference call with religious supporters yesterday:
Hagee denounced Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for pressing a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. He called it “a cheap political ploy” aimed at “making Condoleezza Rice a vice presidential candidate and building a midnight legacy for George Bush.”[…]
Hagee also attacked “the liberal media for trying to produce a millstone around John McCain’s neck.”
Speaking to the 2007 AIPAC conference, Hagee compared supporters of a two-state solution in the Middle East to Nazis. Hagee also echoed right-wing Israeli politician Binyamin Netanyahu, telling the audience that “Iran is Germany and Ahmadinejad is the new Hitler.”
Hagee’s opposition to a two-state solution, the eventual establishment of which remains the stated policy of the United States, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority, puts Hagee far out of the American mainstream. Hagee’s view is grounded in an extremist interpretation of scripture known as premillenial dispensationalism, which holds that we are currently living in the end times, and that the return of the Jewish people to the entire land of Israel (or at least the land of Israel as it was drawn by Sykes and Picot) is a necessary precondition for the second coming of Jesus Christ. In Hagee’s view, establishing a homeland for the Palestinians ruins this plan.
Given how deeply the media have interrogated the views of Barack Obama’s former pastor, it’s certainly appropriate to expect them to explore the bizarre apocalyptic beliefs of a cleric whose endorsement John McCain specifically sought. Where does John McCain stand on Hagee’s implication that U.S. policy on Israel-Palestine is “Nazi”-like? Maybe it’s time to throw this millstone under the bus.