Megachurch Pastor Robert Jeffress has a long history of openly attacking Muslims, Mormons, Jews and Catholics — but he was nonetheless chosen by President Donald Trump to speak at the opening of the new American embassy in Jerusalem.
Jonathan Tobin, a conservative Jewish columnist who regularly writes for The National Review, has published an op-ed for Israeli newspaper Haaretz where he takes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to task for allowing Jeffress to lead opening prayers for the embassy this week.
Tobin runs through Jeffress’ past controversial statements — which include saying that Jews are going to hell, that Islam is an “evil” religion, that Mormonism is a cult, and that the Catholic Church is under the influence of Satan — before turning his attention to Israeli government officials who turn a blind eye to such comments simply because Jeffress happens to support Israel.
“His presence at the embassy ceremony is a reminder that there is a price to be paid for uncritical acceptance of pro-Israel figures whose attitude toward faith is inconsistent with religious freedom,” he writes. “It is not too much to ask the administration, the Israeli government or pro-Israel activists to hold Jeffress as accountable for his prejudice as they do people like Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for their bigotry. Jeffress’ Zionism is praiseworthy, but it can’t give him a pass for attacking other faiths.”