Jewish Telegraphic Agency - Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign defended an endorsement from a controversial pastor who has said Jews will be hunted and put in death camps before Jesus returns.
Kansas evangelical Pastor Mike Bickle, whose endorsement the campaign publicized last month, runs a project called Israel Mandate, one of whose goals is “partnering with Messianic Jews for the salvation of the Jewish people.”
In a sermon in 2011, Bickle said God would give Jews a chance to convert to Christianity and “raise up the hunters” against those who refuse. Bickle called Hitler “the most famous hunter in recent history.” In 2005, Bickle said in a sermon that before Jesus’ coming, “a significant number of Jews will be in work camps, prison camps or death camps.”
Nick Muzin, a senior adviser to the Texas senator’s campaign, said Bickle was referring to biblical passages.
“Our campaign welcomes support from faith leaders across the country,” Muzin told Jewish Insider. “Mike Bickle is one of the hundreds who have endorsed us. My understanding is that he was paraphrasing the words of the prophets Jeremiah and Zechariah. I know that he has made support for Israel and the Jewish people a central part of his mission.”