JERUSALEM, Israel — Pastor John Hagee, founder and national director of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview Friday that President Donald Trump had earned “political immortality” by moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
“I told him that the moment that you do that, I believe that you will step into political immortality. Because you are having the courage to do what other presidents did not have the courage do to.”
He added that he believed the transfer of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem Monday would cement the bond between the U.S. and Israel.
“For decades America has referred to Israel as ‘our dearest friend in the Middle East.’ But we never put our embassy there, when in fact our embassy was located in the capital cities of other nations that were run by tyrants and dictators.
“President Trump has demonstrated courage under fire and has pronounced Jerusalem the capital of Israel, which shatters the delusion of the Palestinians that they should own it. And it’s sending a signal to the other nations of the world that we really do support the state of Israel. We are treating them equally now with the other nations of the world. They are not receiving preferential treatment. This is only what’s fair.”
Hagee explained the importance of Jerusalem to Christians in particular.
“Christians believe that Jerusalem will be the capital city in the Eternal Kingdom, ruled by Jesus Christ,” he said. (Religious sources tell Breitbart News that this belief is a tenant of dispensational theology, which is one of several branches of Evangelical Christianity.)
“The U.S. embassy moving to Jerusalem is a very clear indicator of the verse in the book of Deuteronomy (28:13) where God promises: ‘I will make you the head and not the tail.’
“Jerusalem is the epicenter of Christianity. Jerusalem is where Abraham placed Isaac on the altar on the Temple Mount in this city. Jerusalem is where Jeremiah and Isaiah penned the principles of righteousness that became the moral foundations of our civilization. … Jerusalem is the city of God.”
He added: “Outside the city of Jerusalem, Jesus Christ was crucified, resurrected from the dead, and when he returns the second time, is going to put his foot on the Mount of Olives in the city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the future of the world. Not Washington; not Rome; not Paris, France; not Berlin — Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the shoreline of eternity.”
“Jerusalem is the city of God,” he added.
Hagee also emphasized that CUFI’s mission was to protect Jews as well as the Jewish state.
“We would like for the people of America to know that … we have 4.1 million members dedicated to the destruction of antisemitism in all of its forms. Antisemitism is exploding in Europe, its exploding in the colleges and universities of America, and antisemitism is not a Jewish problem — it’s everybody’s problem.
“Antisemitism, in the Christian sense, is a sin. And as a sin, it damns the soul. So we are absolutely committed to the destruction of antisemitism.”
Hagee noted that he had visited the Golan Heights this week, just hours after Iranian forces fired missiles at Israeli territory for the first time.
“I stood on the very spot at the northern Israel border looking into Syria, where those 20 missiles came. Four of those missiles were shot down by the Iron Dome, and the remainder did absolutely no damage to any citizen in the State of Israel.
“The Israeli air force executed an absolutely masterful operation last night … in destroying Iranian bases that would most certainly be the superstructure of the military that they would put into use against Israel.”
He praised President Trump for leaving the Iran nuclear deal, describing Iran as “the head of the snake” in the Middle East.
“What President Trump has done in extracting the United States of America from the nuclear deal has been a tremendous benefit and blessing to the State of Israel and the Jewish people,” he said.
He also emphasized that Americans were safer because of Trump’s decision.
Barack Obama put into the hands of a terrorist state — the leading terrorist state in the world — billions of dollars through which Iran would pay for advanced weaponry to use against Israel and against the United States of America. An inter-continental ballistic missile is not needed to blow up Jerusalem. It is needed to blow up New York.
“That is why America is safer. It has even been carried in the American media that Iran has its intelligence people, terrorists, all in America, plotting and planning for the way to attack and destroy our nation. This should concern us. This is why, when [Trump] took the money out of the hands of Iran, when we withdrew from this deal, America and the world are safer.”
He also addressed liberal criticism of the president’s decision.
“Liberals in America are saying, ‘Why shouldn’t Iran be allowed to have nuclear weapons?’ In the past, America and Russia had massive amounts of nuclear power, but we had mutually assured destruction … and a passionate desire to live.
“But Iran has a theology that glorifies death,” he added, “and it only pays off when you are killing someone that is conceded an infidel.”
Asked whether he agrees with a comparison between President Trump and King Cyrus of Persia, whose decision to allow the Jews to return to build Jerusalem is described in the Bible, Pastor Hagee agreed, but emphasized a more important, and modern, analogy.
“Cyrus is the one that made it possible for the Jewish people to return to Israel. I think there is a very clear comparison between Cyrus and President Trump.
“I think there is a brighter comparison between Harry Truman and President Trump. President Truman recognized Israel as a state 11 minutes after Ben-Gurion read the [declaration of independence] in the arts center in Tel Aviv.
“Harry Truman’s closest friends and his political advisers said do not so this … Harry Truman ignored the advice of even [Secretary of State] George Marshall, who had enormous international standing, to recognize the state of Israel. And Harry Truman is loved in the State of Israel for doing that.”
He said he told President Trump that “your name will be remembered 1000 years from that day, like Truman, as two presidents who did what others did not dare to do. Because of the raw courage required to do so.”
Hagee praised the work of CUFI and its members in educating leaders and lawmakers about the importance of the Jerusalem embassy.
“CUFI is the largest pro-Israel organization in the world, period,” he declared. “What God has allowed us to accomplish has never been done in the history of Christianity.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.