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Nice Bedfellows You’ve Got There

By Matthew Yglesias

"Nice Bedfellows You’ve Got There"

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Coming this Sunday to an AIPAC Policy Conference near you:

SUNDAY NIGHT PLENARY – The U.S. and Israel: Tradition and Transcendence


Two eloquent voices from diverse backgrounds explore the history of U.S. involvement in the Middle East and how Americans from all faiths can find common cause in supporting Israel.



  • Pastor John Hagee

  • Author and Scholar Michael Oren

  • Special Guest Eitan Wertheimer, Chairman of the Board of ISCAR 

Who’s John Hagee? Sarah Posner can tell you all about it. I’ll just note this:

In Hagee’s telling, Israel has no choice but to strike at Iran’s nuclear facilities, with or without America’s help. The strike will provoke Russia — which wants Persian Gulf oil — to lead an army of Arab nations against Israel. Then God will wipe out all but one-sixth of the Russian-led army, as the world watches “with shock and awe,” he says, lending either a divine quality to the Bush administration phrase or a Bush-like quality to God’s wrath.

But Hagee doesn’t stop there. He adds that Ezekiel predicts fire “‘upon those who live in security in the coastlands.’” From this sentence he concludes that there will be judgment upon all who stood by while the Russian-led force invaded Israel, and issues a stark warning to the United States to intervene: “Could it be that America, who refuses to defend Israel from the Russian invasion, will experience nuclear warfare on our east and west coasts?” He says yes, citing Genesis 12:3, in which God said to Israel: “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you.”

To fill the power vacuum left by God’s decimation of the Russian army, the Antichrist — identified by Hagee as the head of the European Union — will rule “a one-world government, a one-world currency and a one-world religion” for three and a half years. (He adds that “one need only be a casual observer of current events to see that all three of these things are coming into reality.”) The “demonic world leader” will then be confronted by a false prophet, identified by Hagee as China, at Armageddon, the Mount of Megiddo in Israel. As they prepare for the final battle, Jesus will return on a white horse and cast both villains — and presumably any nonbelievers — into a “lake of fire burning with brimstone,” thus marking the beginning of his millennial reign.

So you see, John Hagee, who wants to see Israel adopt a hawkish foreign policy that he believes will result in its destruction at the hands of a Russo-Arab alliance is a friend of the Jews. By contrast, everyone who thinks a little pressure to make peace could wind up helping Israel in the long run is an anti-semite.

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