Evangelical Pastor Clarifies 'Obama Is Anti-semitic' Remark

Founder of Christians United for Israel clarifies: I meant to call Obama most 'anti-Israel' president in history.

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American Evangelist John Hagee addresses a crowd of his followers and Israeli supporters at a rally at the Jerusalem convention center, Sunday, April 6, 2008.Credit: AP

After discussing the controversy with Jewish leaders, Pastor John Hagee “clarified” that he did not mean to call U.S. President Barak Obama anti-Semitic, but anti-Israel.

“The prepared text of my remarks before the Zionist Organization of America called President Obama one of the most ‘anti-Israel’ presidents in U.S. history,” the Christians United for Israel founder said in a statement Friday, referring to his speech Nov. 23 to the ZOA annual dinner in New York.

“During my speech, I inadvertently called him one of the most ‘anti-Semitic’ presidents in history,” he said.

Hagee said he was issuing his clarification after “conversations with friends in the pro-Israel community,” including Robert Sugarman and Malcolm Hoenlein, respectively the chairman and executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

The Anti-Defamation League had slammed Hagee for the jibe, calling it a “serious denigration and distortion of the term.”

“While I regret my misstatement, I stand behind my prepared remarks,” Hagee said in his statement. “I believe that those of us who love Israel must be aggressive in our criticism thereof.”