CUFI at the White House

Yesterday, we took issue with a recent Kathleen Parker column in which she attempted to dismiss concerns about the apocalyptic fantasies harbored by people like John Hagee.  According to Parker, Hagee’s desire to see all-out war in the Middle East in order to hasten the Second Coming of Christ poses no real threat because nobody at the White House listens to him. 

But as we noted yesterday, that does not seem to be the case at all. 

If further evidence was needed, The Nation’s Max Blumenthal is now reporting that Hagee’s organization, Christians United for Israel, has been to the White House several times in recent months for off-the-record meetings with Bush Administration officials

Over the past months, the White House has convened a series of off-the-record meetings about its policies in the Middle East with leaders of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), a newly formed political organization that tells its members that supporting Israel’s expansionist policies is “a biblical imperative.” CUFI’s Washington lobbyist, David Brog, told me that during the meetings, CUFI representatives pressed White House officials to adopt a more confrontational posture toward Iran, refuse aid to the Palestinians and give Israel a free hand as it ramped up its military conflict with Hezbollah.

The White House instructed Brog not to reveal the names of officials he met with, Brog said.

Brog has revealed several “meet and greet” sessions between CUFI and the Bush Administration that highlight the elevated importance of Christian Zionism in GOP-dominated Washington. At the White House, Brog and CUFI’s representatives have professed their support for Israel’s military campaign in Lebanon and, in Brog’s words, “spoke to the Administration about Iran and the need to prevent arms from going to Iran and Hamas, and the need not to let any US aid go to Hamas.”