Pastor John Hagee: Israel must never allow Iran to get a nuclear bomb
CUFI founder receives "Support of Israel Award" at annual Begin Symposium
“Israel must never allow Iran to get a nuclear bomb” was the message that Christians United for Israel Founder Pastor John Hagee drove home Sunday night in a speech at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center.
He said that Iran’s “maniacal dream” of wiping Israel off the map is not dead, and that he and his 11.5 million Christian followers would continue to defend the State of Israel.
Hagee was honored by the center at is annual Begin Symposium with the Support of Israel Award, including a glass statuette of the biblical map of Israel with a piece of Temple Mount stone embedded inside.
CUFI is well known for its Nights to Honor Israel, which draw tens of thousands of people at churches across the United States each year. Those events started in 1981, he shared with the crowd, in response to when Menachem Begin ordered the attack on the Osirak nuclear research reactor in Iraq.
“The US media attacked it, and I realized that this was the moment to organize an evening in which we would encourage Israel and cherish its importance,” Hagee said. “I tell the Americans, when you love someone, you don't tell them that but show it to them. Show it to the Israelis all the time, as much as possible and always stand by them now that she needs you against Iran."
Those evenings and other CUFI efforts have raised more than $115 million, which has been given “to bless and benefit the Jewish state,” according to Hagee. This includes $2.5 million that has recently been raised to help resettled Jewish Ukrainian refugees in Israel.
In his remarks, Hagee praised Begin’s use of terror tactics and guerilla warfare against the British army as head of the Irgun (National Military Organization), including the bombing of the west wing of the King David Hotel in July 1946, which served as the military headquarters of the British Army at the time.
He stressed that warnings were issued to evacuate the hotel that British officials ignored.
“This [event] opened the door for the founding of the State of Israel,” Hagee said. “God bless Menachem Begin.”
“God Almighty gave this land to the Jewish people by blood covenant forever,” the pastor continued, “Israel and the Jewish people do not occupy this land. They own this land.”
He also said that antisemitism is “not just a Jewish problem, it is everybody’s problem. Antisemitism is sin and as sin it damns the soul.”
Hagee was presented the award by Malcolm Hoenlein, former executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
The pastor said he had personally met Begin three times and that he has a signed picture of the late prime minister hanging in his office, and a photo of the two of them together in the hall of memories at his church.
“The joyful point is that there is a free and independent place called Israel where Jews can go to be free from the tyrants of the world,” Hagee concluded. “We are a hardcore, Zionist, battlefield-tested lovers of Israel after the order of Menahem Begin We are taking no freedom. Israel, Israel, Israel is our plea.”