The Catholic League, which had criticized the televangelist over statements taken as denunciations of the Roman Catholic Church, defended Mr. Hagee over the latest charges.
“I … found him to be the strongest Christian defender of Israel I have ever met, and that is why attempts to portray him as anything but a genuine friend to Jews — one for whom the Holocaust is the horror of horrors — is despicable,” League president Bill Donohue said Thursday.
Earlier this month, Mr. Donohue’s watchdog group said an exchange of letters clarifying some theological matters “effectively ends” its dispute with Mr. Hagee.
Barry Block, senior rabbi at San Antonio’s Temple Beth El, a Reform synagogue, says the local Jewish community has been divided on Mr. Hagee for years.
“He has a long history of making hate-filled statements about a variety of groups,” the rabbi said. “For the first time, we’re dealing with a problematic statement about Jews, but we should be equally concerned about his record on Muslims, Islam, Catholics, Catholicism, and gays and lesbians.”
He added, “Anti-Semitic is a term I use sparingly and would not apply to Pastor Hagee.”