Sen. Joe Lieberman, who formerly was a Democratic candidate for Vice President and now is an independent backing Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain, told a Christian audience that Israel must prepare for war with Iran as Jacob did before meeting his estranged brother Esau. "I am your brother Joseph," Sen. Lieberman told a cheering crowd of Christians United for Israel (CUFI). "Blessed are you in the name of the L-rd."
I am your brother Joseph. Blessed are you in the name of the L-rd.
As the audience waved Israel and American flags, Sen. Lieberman praised his host, controversial Christian and pro-Israel preacher Rev. John Hagee. The Connecticut Senator stated that Hagee reminds him of Biblical heroes such as Miriam and Moses, who are described in the Bible as having made human mistakes.
"You and I and Pastor Hagee all believe in the Bible," Sen. Lieberman told the audience. "We believe in the G-d of the Bible. We love G-d."
Sen. Lieberman, an observant Jew, defended Rev. Hagee, who caused an intense controversy earlier this year by saying that the Bible alluded to the Holocaust as a pre-ordained plan to encourage Jews to move to Israel.
Responding to a campaign by dovish Jews to persuade him not to address the Christians in the presence of Rev. Hagee, Sen. Lieberman stated, "There has been a campaign to stop me, but the bond I feel to Pastor Hagee and to you is much stronger."
Rev. Hagee often cites the Bible to back Israel's right to the Promised Land. Addressing a CUFI convention in Washington last week, he told more than 3,500 people they should be like the Biblical Esther when they lobby Congress for Israel and see themselves as "ambassadors of G-d" on behalf of the Jewish people "until victory comes."
His speech did nothing to allay fears among Jews that his support for Israel has missionary intentions. He stated that keeping Jerusalem united is a step towards the Second Coming, which he prophesized will be heralded by a "Jewish rabbi in side curls and not in a gray flannel suit."