When I heard the news about Sharon I told a friend to expect one of the crazy Jewish settlers to proclaim that the Israeli PM was punished by God for the withdrawal from Gaza. Well, I was wrong. Instead, it was the most enthusiastic American supporter of the Greater Israel project, "Television evangelist" Pat Robertson who suggested on Thursday that Israeli Sharon's stroke was "divine retribution" for the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, which Robertson opposed.
More about Nutty Pat here There has been some criticism by a few American-Jewish "leaders" (like "Abe" Foxman from ADL) and by the Israeli Ambassador to Washington(google these items, if you're interested). It would be interesting to see if these Jewish organizations do the right thing and demand that Roberstron return the many awards he received from them in the past. More important, American-Jews and Israelis alike have to recognize the following: Many of Robertson's followers, inclduing those who reside in the Holy Land agree with what he said about Sharon. Indeed, if you get through the ads for underwears and perfume, you should read Craig Unger's article in Vanity Fair on what these guys think (or fantasize) about Israel. And check this out: According to recent reports, the Israeli government
"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 [European Union], the United Nations or the United States of America,'" Robertson told viewers of his long-running television show, "The 700 Club." "God says, 'This land belongs to me, and you'd better leave it alone,'" he said.
The Israeli government is planning to give up a large slice of land to American Christian evangelicals to build a biblical theme park by the Sea of Galilee where Jesus is said to have walked on water and fed 5,000 with five loaves and two fish. A consortium of Christian groups, led by the television evangelist Pat Robertson, is in negotiation with the Israeli ministry of tourism and a deal is expected in the coming months. The project is expected to bring up to 1 million extra tourists a year but an undeclared benefit will be the cementing of a political alliance between the Israeli rightwing and the American Christian right.More here about the project The article suggests that some Israelis are opposed to the idea since they're concerned that Robertson and his crew would use the theme park to convert Jews to Christianity. I'm not sure about that. But what about the next argument: Why should the Israelis help establish a center led by a group of people who are opposed to -- and would probably try to subvert -- what most of the Israelis, including Sharon's party agree on, that Israel should withdraw from most of the occuppied territories in the West Bank and Gaza and allow the establishment of an independent Palestinian state? That doesn't make a lot of sense to me, especially after several neocons have accused American-Jewish groups who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq of acting against "Jewish interests." As I see it, giving up a large slice of Israeli land to Robertson and his groupies runs very much against "Jewish interests."