Friday, January 06, 2006

US Christian broadcaster says Sharon's stroke divine retribution

An Israeli soldier prays at the Western Wall, Judaism holiest site, in Jerusalem Thursday Jan. 5, 2006. Rabbis called Israelis to flock to synagogues and say special prayers for 77-year-old Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who fought for his life Thursday following seven hours of emergency surgery to stop widespread bleeding in his brain. The massive stroke made it unlikely that he would return to power, and plunged the region into uncertainty.(AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

From :

US Christian broadcaster says Sharon's stroke divine retribution

US evangelical broadcaster Pat Robertson suggested Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for "dividing God's land" of Israel, igniting his latest trademark controversy.

As the Israeli prime minister battled for life, Robertson seemed to suggest to viewers on his "700 Club" television show that Sharon was being punished for his policies in Gaza and the West Bank.

"The prophet Joel makes it very clear that God has enmity against those who, quote, 'divide my land.' God considers this land to be his.

"You read the Bible, he says, 'This is my land.' And for any prime minister of Israel who decides he's going carve it up and give it away, God says, 'No. This is mine.'"

Robertson, who frequently provokes outrage with his remarks, said he was "sad" to see Sharon fall sick, and that he was a "very likeable person."

"I prayed with him personally. But here he is at the point of death. He was dividing God's land, and I would say woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU, the United Nations or the United States of America."

"God said, 'This land belongs to me, you better leave it alone.'"

Robertson also appeared to suggest former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, murdered in 1995, had also paid the ultimate price for talking peace.

"He was tragically assassinated, and it was terrible thing that happened, but nevertheless, he was dead."

Robertson's latest blast drew immediate condemnation from Israel's ambassador to the United States.

"Such things are very outrageous. I would expect this only from people like (President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad in Iran ... I wouldn't expect it from any of our friends," ambassador Danny Ayalon told CNN.

The US Anti-Defamation League also piled on Robertson's "outrageous and shocking" comments.

"His remarks are un-Christian and a perversion of religion. We would hope that good Christian leaders would distance themselves from Pat Robertson's remarks," the ADL said in a statement.

"It is pure arrogance for Robertson to suggest that he has divine knowledge of God's intent and purpose based on his interpretation of scripture."

Robertson, who ran for president as a conservative in 1988, and often urges supporters on his show to support President George W. Bush, frequently unleashes rhetorical hand grenades.

In October, he said a recent spate of natural disasters pointed to the end of the world and the imminent second coming of Jesus Christ.

In August, Robertson said the United States should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, but later apologized for the remark.

He also suggested voters in a Pennsylvania town should not expect God's help should they face a natural disaster after they ousted a school board which had mandated the teaching of creationism.

Last year, he suggested that the threat to the United States from liberal "activist judges" was "probably more serious than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings," a reference to the September 11 attacks.

He has also lambasted Disneyland and the United Nations.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

He apologized for his remark about Hugo Chavez.

Everything else needs no apology.

1:17 AM  

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