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Pro-Israel Neocons Right at Home at CUFI National Conference

As you read this, John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel has just hosted its annual conference in Washington, DC. It’s instructive to see which Jewish "leaders" and organizations have made common cause with this anti-Semitic slimeball.

On Monday, David Makovsky (Dennis Ross’ best buddy) and Jennifer Lazlo Mizrahi (Frank Luntz’s best buddy) whipped up a nice bit of hysteria about Iran’s alleged commitment to Israel’s destruction. Let’s not forget that Jennifer’s hubby is a top Israeli diplomat in town. Gary Bauer, the president of CAMERA, and the director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem gave a workshop on Israel 101: Basics of the Israeli-Arab Conflict, which should be retitled "Basic Hasbara of the Israeli-Arab Conflict." Forcibly retired U.S. senator Rick Santorum and David Frum did a dog and pony show on U.S.-Israel relations (that should be illuminating–yawn).

If you’d only been there a few nights ago, you could’ve been illuminated by the cumulative wisdom of Rep. Eric Cantor and Michael Medved speaking to the select wealthy few at the Chairman’s Club Donor Banquet. Just think how smart you’d be after hearing those two illuminati speak.

You just missed Fred Barnes, Rep. Shelley Berkley (Aipac’s most slavish boot-licker in Congress), and Malcolm Hoenlein (still thinks Obama’s a Muslim) give a Mideast Briefing. Can you think of anything more toxic than to hear these blowhards talk on a subject about which they know nothing more than what’s in their hasbara playbook?

Buy your tickets now for the Night to Honor Israel Banquet Dinner at which you will be regaled by the sound and fury of John Hagee and Dennis Prager. What, they couldn’t get Rush to join them?

Jewish neocons and fundamentalist Bible Belters: a match made in heaven! To quote Tevye: "May the Lord bless and keep them–far away from me."

Meanwhile, one of the funniest satirical pieces I’ve read in a long was written by Justin Vogt about last year’s CUFI conference. Here’s a sampling:

At this year’s CUFI gala, beneath a stage framed by massive American and Israeli flags, the country-music star Randy Travis belted out The Star-Spangled Banner. Cornerstone’s choir performed a Dixiefied version of Hava Nagila, the celebratory Hebrew folk-song (“Chicken in the barn, pickin’ up grain/ It don’t matter if it’s sunny or rain / Next year in Jerusalem! / Ve nis’mecha!”) And a jumbo-sized cinema screen bombarded the audience with an infomercial touting the work of the evening’s proud corporate sponsor, Zion Oil & Gas, a company founded by a Hagee supporter who believes that the Bible contains clues that point the way to plentiful deposits of oil in Israel. (“The geology has confirmed the theology,” explained one executive.)

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Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein

I've been writing Tikun Olam, one of the earliest progressive Jewish blogs, since February, 2003. It focuses on Israeli-Palestinian peace and Muslim-Jewish relations. I wrote a chapter for the Independent Jewish Voices essay collection, A Time to Speak Out. I've contributed to Haaretz, the Jewish Forward, and the Los Angeles Times and write regularly for the Guardian's Comment Is Free blog. My work has also been in American Conservative Magazine and Beliefnet and I am on the advisory board of Tikkun Magazine.