The Equality Forum ruffled the feathers of anti-pinkwashing activists when it announced Israel would be the “featured nation” at its annual Global LGBT Summit, held last weekend in Philadelphia. But what was missed by many was that the event’s keynote speaker, Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, has also been booked as a speaker at a homophobic summit later this summer.
At the Forum’s International Equality Dinner on Saturday, Oren spoke of Israel’s commitment to LGBT rights—deflecting comments from a protestor and even inviting participant to Israel for Pride on June 8.
Sounds like the usual hard-court press but Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., will be talking out of the other side of his mouth on July 16, when he takes the stage at the Christians United for Israel Summit, run by nutjob minister John Hagee.
As Mondo Weiss’ Phan Nguyen reminds us, Hagee has a long history of attacking gays, Jews, women, Muslims and any number of other groups:
* Hagee said Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans because the city was planning a Pride parade: “New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God…There was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other gay pride parades… I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was in fact the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.”
* Hagee stated that the Antichrist would materialize as a “a blasphemer and a homosexual,” as well as “be partially Jewish, as was Adolf Hitler.”
* Hagee’s 2004 book, What Every Man Wants in a Woman, warns that: “Homosexuality means the death of society because homosexuals can recruit, but they cannot reproduce. Once homosexuality gets out of the closet, it becomes aggressive…[Homosexuals] do not want mere acceptance; they want to be in charge.”
* What Every Man Wants also explains that “the word abomination in Hebrew means ‘something disgusting, abhorrent,’ the strongest Bible word for the denunciation of sin. It is impossible to call yourself a Christian and defend homosexuality. There is no justification or acceptance of homosexuality. How many ways can you say ‘abomination’ in Hebrew?”
If you’ll recall, Hagee is so toxic that then-GOP presidential nominee John McCain refuted the pastor’s endorsement in 2008 after a recording surfaced of Hagee claiming that God made Hitler order the Holocaust in order to force Jews to move to Israel. Lest you think Oren is just ignorant of his host’s views, this is the fourth time he’s spoken at a CUFI summit.
It’s clear Israel is making some strange bedfellows in order to improve its p.r. image on the international front, but it seems to us like Oren is sleeping with the enemy.
Photo: Anne Mandlebaum