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Joel Mowbray reports: Support for Hagee at AIPAC

Following up on “The bum rap against John Hagee,” Joel Mowbray has forwarded us the following dispatch from this week’s annual AIPAC policy conference in Washington:

At this week’s AIPAC conference, one of the best-attended breakout sessions was on Christian Zionists. On the three-person panel was David Brog, executive director of Rev. John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel. When Brog started his talk by mentioning Hagee’s name, the overflow audience stopped him with a standing ovation.

Given the “Hitler” sermon that Hagee reportedly delivered a decade ago caused John McCain to duck for cover, the natural assumption would be that Hagee’s deputy would be greeted by reactions ranging from ambivalence to anger. As it happens, I could detect neither.

Cynics will obviously point to the self-selection at smaller group sessions, meaning the room was already filled with Hagee’s supporters. And the AIPAC conference has strong representation from the Orthodox and Conservative religious communities, the segments of the Jewish community that still overtly support Hagee. Since most American Jews are either Reform or secular, many in the media had attached great significance to the criticism of Hagee from American Reform Jewish leader Eric Yoffe.

What was most interesting, though, is that after the session and a few other points during the conference, I witnessed Reform and secular Jews telling Brog that they still deeply support and appreciate Hagee. Not only that, but many of the well-wishers were avowed liberal Democrats, including more than a few Obama backers.

It will obviously be a long time before the mainstream media let the public forget about Hagee’s much-ballyhooed “Hitler” sermon, but it seems like many in the Jewish community already have.

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