Donohue rejected that explanation, saying that Protestants have been targeting the “great whore” epithet at the Vatican for decades. Besides, he added, that doesn’t explain away Hagee’s repeated claims that the Catholic Church bears much blame for the Holocaust.
Hagee’s many critics would point out as well that it doesn’t address his attacks against Islam, nor his view that a series of tragic events, from Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination to Hurricane Katrina, can be explained as divine retribution – whether it be for surrendering land or tolerating homosexuality.
Undoubtedly, as the criticisms of Hagee mount and such comments gain more attention, Jewish groups will come under increasing pressure to sever their ties to the staunchly pro-Israel pastor.
But on this point, Donohue is willing to cut the Jewish community some slack.
“I wasn’t too wild about it, but I have a little more sympathy,” Donohue said, when asked about Hagee’s AIPAC speech. “If I’m a Jew and I know Muslims are out to kill me, it’s a little dicey to start questioning how clean he has to be.
“I have a little more sympathy. But the difference between AIPAC and a guy running for president is enormous.”