U.S. Pastor Apologizes to Jews for 'God Sent Hitler' Comments

Controversial televangelist John Hagee issues apology which was welcomed by ADL chief Abe Foxman.

Haaretz Service
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Haaretz Service

A prominent American televangelist and outspoken supporter of Israel publicly apologized Friday for remarking that the Holocaust was the work of divine providence, and that "God sent Adolf Hitler to help Jews reach the promised land."

"In a sermon in 1999, I grappled with the vexing question of why a loving God would allow the evil of the Holocaust to occur," John Hagee, the Texas-based preacher wrote in a letter to Anti-Defamation League director Abe Foxman. "I know how sensitive the issue of the Holocaust is and should be to the Jewish community and I regret if my Jewish friends felt any pain as a result."

Last month, audio of Hagee's remarks surfaced on the internet, prompting Republican presidential hopeful John McCain to disavow the pastor's prior endorsement of his candidacy.

Foxman issued a statement welcoming the pastor's apology. "Pastor Hagee has devoted his life to combating anti-Semitism and supporting the State of Israel," Foxman said. "We are grateful for his efforts to eradicate anti-Semitism and to rally so many in the Christian community to stand with Israel."

Labor Party MK Colette Avital, a former consul general in Israel's mission in New York, penned an op-ed piece for Haaretz earlier this month in which she called on the Israeli government to follow McCain's example and disassociate itself from Hagee.

"As someone familiar with the evangelicals' views and beliefs on the second coming of Jesus, there is nothing surprising to me about his statements," Avital wrote. "It only causes me to sigh in relief because the truth is coming out."

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

AIPAC

AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op