Monday, March 10, 2008


If the statements are derogatory toward Jews, it is to be expected that Jewish leaders will give support to those who make the charge of anti-Semitism. According to a story in the Jewish publication Forward.com this happened recently when O'Bama renounced Louis Farrakhan's anti-Semitism. One would suppose that this same support would be extended to objections to anti-Catholic statements, but one would suppose in vain.

Just as Jews and other people of good will have appropriately demanded that Barack Obama unambiguously renounce and reject the endorsement of Minister Louis Farrakhan because of his bigotry and rabid antisemitism, so Jews and other people of good will should demand that John McCain renounce and reject the endorsement of Pastor John Hagee because of his vicious and inflammatory anti- Catholicism, Kula wrote in a statement released February 29, two days after Hagee made his endorsement.

But other Jewish leaders who spoke with the Forward took issue with this assessment.

The comparison doesn't hang, it just doesn't hang, said Rabbi Joel Meyers, executive vice president of the Conservative movement's Rabbinical assembly. I think each has to be seen in its own way, Meyers said. Hagee has said some things that, as a person of faith who's Jewish, I kind of cringe, but other fundamentalist leaders have said things I've cringed at, too, so I understand that world and that religious milieu.

He added, From the perspective of the Jewish community, Farrakhan has said some terrible things about Judaism and the Jewish people; Hagee hasn't.

Meyers found agreement from the national director of the ADL, Abraham Foxman, who had drawn headlines in recent months for his public calls for Obama to disavow views expressed by his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, including praise for Farrakhan.

Hagee's endorsement is not a Jewish issue, Foxman told the Forward. Are we troubled by Hagee's support of McCain and McCain's acceptance? The answer is no, and that's where it ends for us.

The difference between Farrakhan and Hagee is self-evident, Foxman said. So to compare the two and to say: 'Well, if you ask Obama to distance from Farrakhan well, Farrakhan is a black racist, an antisemite, anti- Israel, consorts with America's enemies. Hagee is a supporter of Israel, an advocate of Israel, opposed to antisemitism, and there are issues on which members of the Jewish community and some organizations disagree with, and so from time to time they or we have indicated our disagreement, but it's not of the same nature or category or being.

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