Why Pat Robertson believes Ariel Sharon has incurred the wrath of God
Joan Bokaer printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 11:03:10 PM EST
Today on his 700 Club, Pat Robertson said that Ariel Sharon had invited God's wrath. These were his words ( "700 Club." ABC Family. Thurs Jan 5, 2006):

Now Ariel Sharon who ...  was a very likeable person, a delightful person to be with, I prayed with him personally, but here he's at the point of death. He was dividing Gods 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 says "this land belongs to me. You'd better leave it alone."

Pat had good reason to be upset with Sharon. Sharon had single-handedly broken the back of a powerful union dating back to 1978, the year Prime Minister Menachem Begin personally invited Jerry Falwell to visit Israel.

Begin was the first member of the right-wing Likud Party to become Prime Minister -- until his election in 1977, Israeli politics had been dominated by the Labor Party.  

The rise of the American Christian Right in Israeli politics parallels its rise in U. S. politics. The Moral Majority formed in 1979 with Jerry Falwell at the helm and dramatically altered the U.S. political landscape. 1979 was the year that the Likud government in Israel gave Falwell his very own Lear Jet. Soon after began the pilgrimages to the Holy Land. The pilgrimages led to an outpouring of money and support from Christian Zionists for Israeli expansion into the West Bank and Gaza, dramatically altering the physical landscape of Israel.

CBS correspondent Bob Simon explains on Zion's Christian Soldiers aired on 60 minutes:

What's the number one item on the agenda of the Christian Right? Abortion? School Prayer? No and No. Believe it or not, what's most important to a lot of conservative Christians is the Jewish State. Israel: Its size, its strength, and its survival. Why?

.... For Christians who interpret the bible in a literal fashion, Israel has a crucial role to play in bringing on the Second Coming of Christ.  

For Biblical prophecy to unfold, the Jews must return to Israel, and Israel must take over all of the Palestinian territories. The late Ed MacAteer, considered to be the godfather of the Religious Right, talked about his expansionist dreams for Israel on the same 60 minutes:

I believe that we are seeing prophecy unfold so rapidly and dramatically and wonderfully and, without exaggerating, makes me breathless. Every grain of sand between the Dead Sea, the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea belongs to the Jew.

 When asked if that includes the West Bank and Gaza, his answer was "Every bit of it."

Fast forward to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, former general and architect of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. His primary concern has always been the security of Israel.  At some point he understood that those settlements he helped birth made Israel less rather than more secure and decided to begin the process of withdrawing them.

Bush faced a serious dilemma - how to deal with his political base over Sharon's plans for withdrawal from Gaza. The Village Voice documented that Elliott Abrams, National Security Council director for Near East and North African Affairs met with the Apostolic Congress, a dispensationalist organization, to discuss their theological concerns. Dispensationalism is a system of theology that believes the Jews must return to Israel as part of God's plan for Christ to return. From the Village Voice:

Claiming to be "the Christian Voice in the Nation's Capital," the members vociferously oppose the idea of a Palestinian state. They fear an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza might enable just that, and they object on the grounds that all of Old Testament Israel belongs to the Jews. Until Israel is intact and Solomon's temple rebuilt, they believe, Christ won't come back to earth.
Abrams attempted to assuage their concerns by stating that "the Gaza Strip had no significant Biblical influence such as Joseph's tomb or Rachel's tomb and therefore is a piece of land that can be sacrificed for the cause of peace."

Three weeks after the confab, President George W. Bush reversed long-standing U.S. policy, endorsing Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank in exchange for Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip.

We watched last summer as many Jews were carried, kicking and screaming, from their homes in Gaza. Sharon had pulled it off. A civil war had not broken out.

But Gaza was child's play - a small interlude to what might happen as withdrawal began from the West Bank.  For one thing, the ancient city of Hebron is the second Holiest site to Jews. Its Cave of the Patriarchs is believed to have the tombs of Abraham and Sarah. And Hebron was not on the Israeli side of the barrier Sharon was building between Israel and the West Bank.

Most important of all -- Sharon, the architect of the Israeli settlements and leader of the Likud Party - had broken with Likud and created a centrist party that was about to win handily in the next election. In other words, this marriage between Likud and the Christian Zionists was about to lose its hold on Israeli politics. Sharon was doing something truly remarkable. And Pat Robertson - along with his fellow travelers into Biblical Prophecy - were about to lose something very big.  So it makes sense that God said to Pat,  "this land belongs to me. You'd better leave it alone."

The Washington Post's Daniela Dean reports today that the White House has denounced Pat Robertson's remarks on the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
The White House today criticized television evangelist Pat Robertson's remarks that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's severe illness was deserved, calling the comments "wholly inappropriate and offensive."

White House press spokesman Trent Duffy made the comment to reporters traveling on Air Force One with President Bush this morning. He added that Robertson's comments "don't have a place in this or any other debate."

Duffy also told reporters the president is praying for Sharon's full recovery.

Those comments from the White House are appropriate and welcome. And it is good to know that President Bush is praying for Prime Minister Sharon's recovery. Now the question is, since George Bush has repudiated Robertson's remarks -- after Robertson indicated that he was relaying an important message from God -- then would the White House like to go on record repudiating Robertson's claim to speak for God? I mean, how do you know when a prophet is a false prophet?

by jhutson on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 05:27:29 PM EST

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