Recently we had the opportunity to interview John Hagee about Israel for our July monthly partner newsletter. A portion of the interview was included in the actual newsletter, but you can read the full length interview right here!
1. When did you first discover your love for Israel?
I showed a film titled Apples of Gold to my church congregation in early 1978, and it was what first motivated me to visit Israel. Once in Jerusalem I prayed at the Western Wall along with a Jewish rabbi I did not know. It was in Jerusalem that I was changed forever. It was in Jerusalem that the Lord called me to support Israel and the Jewish people. I often say, I first went to Israel as a tourist and returned a Zionist!
2. What prompted you to launch CUFI?
During one of my many visits with Prime Minister Netanyahu, we discussed the fact that Israel had many friends within Christianity but that we were not unified. I gave him my word that I would try once again to unite Christians under one banner and that banner would be the “unconditional support of Israel and the Jewish people.” In February of 2006, I invited 400 of the top Christian leaders of churches, universities, media, and para-church organizations to meet in San Antonio, Texas with the purpose of establishing Christians United for Israel. Miraculously, we all agreed that the appointed time had come to show our unconditional support for Israel and her people and CUFI was born.
3. Why is it so important for the United States to support Israel?
The Bible clearly states that the Lord will bless those who bless Israel and curse those that curse His beloved people (Genesis 12:3). Either the Bible is true or it is not. As for me, I choose to believe that it is the inerrant Word of God. History has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the people and the nations that have cursed Israel and the Jews have indeed experienced the wrath of a jealous God who neither slumbers nor sleeps in His defense of His people (Psalm 121:4). I believe our nation was founded as a haven of refuge for the Jewish people as they sought asylum from the rampant anti-Semitism of Europe. And because America received the Jewish people of the world, God richly blessed our nation. Yet, as our leaders have recently distanced America from Israel, our country has seen an increase in racial, economic, military and political strife. Our enemies don’t fear us and our allies don’t trust us. We must come back to the unconditional support of the nation of Israel; without it, our nation will be outside of the blessings of God now and forevermore! The Judgement of the Nations (Joel 3:2) is where God the Father will judge men and nations based on how they treated His brethren, the Jews. America must be on the right side of that Judgement; we have been warned by the Lord Himself!
4. What do you believe drives the anti-Semitic movement in our world today?
As I have outlined in my new book, The Three Heavens, the prince of darkness hates the people that brought the light of the Word of God into the earth. He originated the hatred of the Jews and he still fuels it today. The Jewish people were chosen by a sovereign Lord to bring us the sacred scriptures; through them came the patriarchs, the prophets, the first family of Christianity, Jesus Christ – the Savior of the world, the twelve disciples, and the apostles – all through the Jewish people – not a Baptist in the bunch! The plan of redemption came through a Jewish Rabbi. Satan is the author of anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is sin and as sin, it damns the soul.
5. We know that you have been targeted for your outspoken support of Israel. Can you share about a time when God has protected you from that?
I am ever-grateful to the Lord for His supernatural protection over my life and the life of my family in so many ways – too many to mention in one article. My life has been threatened, protestors have disrupted our Sunday worship, our car windows have been shot out, our home has been vandalized, my character and motives have been attacked and vilified. However, God has remained faithful to His promises that those who bless Israel the same shall be blessed. I know from experience that many of the blessings I have been given are a result of my blessing the Jewish nation and her people.
6. What would you say to people who are afraid to speak up in favor of the Holy Land?
To see evil and not call it evil is evil! Not to speak is to speak! God will not hold us guiltless if we remain silent in such perilous times! God is not the author of fear. He mandates in His Word that those who pray for Israel will prosper and those that bless the Jewish people will be blessed. The appointed time is now (Psalm 102:13)! When God assigns us, He will also equip us for the task! My statement to them is the same that Mordechai made to Esther – “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).
7. How often do you visit Israel? Does your family visit with you?
Matthew and I host a trip to Israel about every 18 months through Cornerstone Church and John Hagee Ministries. Through Christians United for Israel we host several Pastor’s Encounter trips, College Student trips and Millennial Influencer’s trips. All total we take about 1,000 pilgrims to Israel each year. Our family travels with us when possible. Diana and I are now hosting each of our grandchildren when they turn 13 with their first trip to the Holy Land; it’s a legacy we want to establish early in their lives as we did with our children.
8. Do you have a favorite Jewish holiday? How do you celebrate with your family?
Sadly, the Feasts of the Lord are not celebrated within Christianity. They hold such prophetic significance to our faith, however most Christians are unaware of their meaning. Cornerstone Church hosts a Passover meal and also celebrates the Feast of Tabernacles each year. It is a time of thanksgiving unto the Lord for His goodness. Families gather on our grounds and we celebrate with food booths, rides for the children, praise and worship and Bible teaching. People come from all parts of the nation to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles with us!
9. Daystar is on in hotel rooms all across Israel – what kind of an impact do you think this has to people visiting the Holy Land?
It sends the message that Daystar is fulfilling prophecy by sending the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem to the nations of the world! Also, in a time when the enemies of the free world are crucifying and beheading Christians in the Middle East, Israel’s Arab Christian communities are flourishing—part of that phenomenon is due to the fact that they are being spiritually fed through Daystar’s programming.
10. What can people expect when they tune in to watch CUFI’s Washington Summit on Daystar?
Our Washington Summit is a special event featuring speakers such as nationally syndicated radio host Dennis Prager, military analyst Elliot Chodoff, Fox News commentator Erick Stakelbeck, Wall Street Journal editor Bret Stephens and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu via satellite.