CUFI’s Hagee on Rand Paul, Trump’s Peace Plan
JI INTERVIEW — Pastor John Hagee, founder of Christian United for Israel, discussed his group’s efforts to pressure Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) to remove a hold on the U.S.-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018 in an interview with Jewish Insider’s Jacob Kornbluh. Hagee was in Washington, DC over the weekend to attend the White House Hanukkah party and meetings on Capitol Hill regarding several pro-Israel bills.
Pointing out that this is the final approval of the bill after it was first passed by the Senate in August, Hagree said, “Paul put a hold on the legislation the second time around. He, in essence, supported its passage before he opposed its passage, and for reasons that no one really fully understands.”
“I can’t help but believe that Rand Paul is fully aware of the political consequences of standing against this support of Israel when Israel so desperately needs the help,” Hagee added. “We have 110,000 members in the state of Kentucky that are contacting him continuously and I’m sure that he has been made fully aware of that at this point in time.”
Asked how CUFI — which passed the 5 million-member mark this week — would work with a divided Congress in the next two years, Hagee noted, “CUFI is a non-partisan organization. We work with elected officials from both parties as long as the issue is Israel. We are a one-issue organization. Israel, Israel, and Israel. And if it helps Israel, we support it. If it’s opposed to Israel, we oppose it.”
Hagee on Trump’s peace plan: “No one really knows what’s in that peace deal. I can make you this absolute pledge and promise that the peace plan is up to Israel to decide. It is not for Americans who live 6,000 miles away to dictate or even try to advise the people of Israel on what they should be willing to do. If the people of Israel support it, we will support what the people of Israel say that they want.”
On how Evangelicals came to support Trump in 2016: “When the 2016 presidential campaign began, we had 16 or 17 candidates standing up there, and the millions of people who are in CUFI and those who follow me on the television, were phoning into our national headquarters and asking, ‘Who are we going to support?’ I said someone sooner or later will break out of the pack who is pro-Israel, and I assure you, none of us believed it would be Donald Trump. But when he came out consistently, boldly, clearly, in support of Israel, we said that’s our man. And of course there were some who were concerned, and I said, ‘We are going with the man who supports Israel.’ Thank God, America and Israel are in unity like [under] no president in my lifetime.”