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Prayers for Arik, Boos for Pat

It’s no secret that Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is not one of my favorite humans. I am not a fan of militaristic Israeli hardliners any more than I am of violently militant Palestinians. Violence begets violence and violence is always wrong. But I am filled with sadness over the news of Sharon’s declining health. In case you haven’t heard, he is lying in a hospital intensive-care unit, heavily sedated and on a respirator, after suffering a massive stroke on Jan. 4. Doctors say his prognosis isn’t good.

The news throws the Israel-Palestine peace process – including Israeli withdrawal from Gaza – into chaos. And Israel’s government is awhirl: While a temporary PM has been chosen, there are many questions over what the new leadership will do in terms of peace. And no one knows what will be the fate of Kadima, the new political party for which Sharon ditched his former Likud Party.

Whatever one’s politics, this is sad, sad news. Prayers for Sharon’s recovery are surely being sent all over the world. But in the midst of all this sadness, someone has to behave like a jerk. And it isn’t surprising that it’s right-wing fundamentalist-Christian televangelist, media tycoon, and diamond magnate Pat Robertson.

The good reverend spoke about the Sharon situation this morning on CBN’s 700 Club:

I have said last year that Israel was entering into the most dangerous period of its entire existence as a nation. That is intensifying this year with the loss of Sharon. Sharon was personally a very likeable person. I am sad to see him in this condition. But I think we need to look at the Bible and the Book of Joel. 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 going carve it up and give it away, God says, “No. This is mine.” And the same thing — I had a wonderful meeting with Yitzhak Rabin in 1974. He was tragically assassinated, and it was terrible thing that happened, but nevertheless, he was dead. And now Ariel Sharon, who was again a very likeable person, a delightful person to be with. 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 United States of America. God said, “This land belongs to me, you better leave it alone.”

In other words, according to Robertson, God took out Sharon — and Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 — for trying to make peace with the Palestinians.

If this wasn’t unsettling on so many levels, I might actually laugh. What’s worse is that Robertson obviously knows what he is saying is vile — why else would he take such pains to say over and again how “likable” Sharon and Rabin were, how “terrible” their demises? He anticipated media criticism of his statement!

Let’s move past the decidedly un-Christian comments and cynical spinning of a human who gives new meaning to the phrase “false prophet.” As Sharon lies gravely ill, let’s pray for his health and his grieving family, for our sisters and brothers in Israel and Palestine, and for peace. And add a prayer or wish for Pat Robertson to find a heart and a clue.

About NR Davis

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    Thought I would change the subject a bit.

    Jerusalem is the largest city in the country, though the “metro” area of Tel Aviv has more people.

    This town used to be entirely within the walls of what is known as the “Old City” (Ir ha’Atiká) until sometime about 150 years ago. The city expanded mostly to the west. The names of the roads indicate something of the way this city was always the center of the Land of Israel, no matter what a patheric backwater it was.

    The Gaza Road went from here to Gaza, the Jaffa Road went from here to Jaffa, the Bethlehem Road from here to Bethlehem and so on and so forth.

    That has all changed – these roads are only city streets. Now Highway 1 goes from Tel Aviv to Ma’aleh Adumím, a town east of here, Highway 60 is the north south road going towards Hevron in the south and Ram’allah in the north. The old Shomron Road is now highway 443, which goes to Modiín.

    The main drags of Jerusalem are the Hevron Road in the south, Keren haYesod and King George V Street in the center, the Jaffa Road in the center going west, Herzl Boulevard going further west towards the edge of the city. In the north and west you get a street called Kanfei N’sharim.

    Jerusalem looks a lot like Marin County in CA, built on and into hills. It never gets too cold here, though you can’t convince the natives of that. Only Russian immigrants and folks from places like Minnesota and Manitoba understand how cold this city isn’t.

    Oh yeah, you can find live sheep run through parts of town where there are Arab villages nearby. Never saw an Arab shepherd kid looking unhappy…

    It’s late, here. I gotta hit the sack.

    I’ve been praying for a miracle with respect to Sharon. But we’ll see what develops.

  • sr

    #40. YIPPEE-CAY-AY

  • Shark

    RUVY: “…I’ve been praying for a miracle with respect to Sharon…”

    Please to clarify:

    Based on your understanding of political events in Gaza, The Book of Joel, and your concept of a petty, wrathful, vindictive “G-D” — are you praying for Sharon to DIE or to recover?

    Thanks in advance.


  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    There are some folks – particularly those who have been expelled from their homes in Gaza – who refuse to pray for Sharon at all. It is a generally considered a sin to pray for a fellow Jew to die. That is what makes the “pulsa denura” curse laid on Sharon (and also Rabin) so controversial.

    What is truly amusing is how the secular Jews, who pretend not to believe in G-d at all, get all excited and call for investigations of, and prosecutions for what should be a superstitous pile of BS, a curse hurled by a bunch of bearded men.

    I’m praying for a full recovery for Ariel Sharon. I want to emphasize that phrase – FULL RECOVERY. The folks who have been kicked out of their homes are too hurt to see some of the things that I have. I know how it feels to be kicked out on the street (albeit not for political reasons), so I have some understanding of what these families are going through.

    If G-d grants Ariel Sharon full recovery, it should be very interesting to watch events here. If I’m right, it should be just great. But I may not be – so I’m keeping my trap shut.

    On reports of Sharon’s death. I had multiple reports of his death from reliable sources – three of whom were in Hadassah ‘Ein Kerem hearing doctors say that he was dead. One report was published in Israel Insider. Reuven Koret, the publisher, must be feeling very chastened these days.

    Elsewhere, on a different thread, I remember writing to Aaman that I would not go to press with such a news story until I felt I had better confirmation of the man’s death. The reason was that if Blog Critics was a Google news source, I was not going to risk its reputation.

  • sr

    Ruvy, Thanks for the insite concerning Jerusalem. I can’t help but notice the various subjects you and shark debate on. Why bother Ruvy? Maybe you have respect with each other as two equal bona fide scholars. Since Im a barely literate opponent in sharks world why do you bother to comment with me. Of course Im not a scholar. I have absolutely no respect for shark. Do you Ruvy? Planned to say more Ruvy. Did not mean to bring down flack on you from the comments I have read directed toward you. Like shark says concerning himself, Im a big boy. Im sure you are also my friend. Ruvy, are you familar with Let me know. sr

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    Shark is a scholar. I may not agree with him but I can learn from him. And, if he is willing, he can learn from me. So, in some instances, it is well worth debating with him.

    And you have backed me up here. I’m grateful for that. Some of the things I write are not pleasant at all to read and are certainly not welcomed. There are schmucks who do not show any gratitude at all to people who help them (I’m not referring to anybody here at Blog Critics). I’m not such a person. “Yad rohhétzet yad” – one hand washes the other.

    Last night, I had the honor of meeting the members of the High Council of the B’nei Noah individually. These men are non-Jews who believe simply that the laws that mankind needs to follow are embodied in the Seven Commandments of Noah. Many of the members are scholars, some more learned in Judaism and Judaic practice than I am, to my shame.

    But the chairman is a farm kid whose practical turn of mind will lead this council on a very difficult task indeed – teaching mankind about the Seven Commandments of Noah. This man is not a scholar at all, but the scholars turn to him for leadership.

    I am no scholar either. But we all have our place and a role to play in G-d’s universe.

    It’s cold in Jerusalem today, and sunny. But in the north, I see the clouds coming slowly south, bringing wind and rain. This weekend, it is supposed to drop to close to freezing (4 C, 39 F).

    Sabbath comes soon, and peace and quiet will descend upon the city – and hopefully our sabbath rest will not be interrupted by violence…

    Shabbat Shalom,

  • sr

    Ruven, I will always back you up. My Daughter is a US Navel Aviator. She will also back you up. You may say your no scholar, however to me you are. Psalm 83:4, “THEY HAVE SAID, ‘COME, AND LET US WIPE THEM OUT AS A NATION, THAT THE NAME OF ISRAEL BE REMEMBERED NO MORE.” What are your concerns, views or whatever concerning Iran/Persia? Please take care and make a difference. I know you are. Shabbat Shalom mi amigo. sr. PS: Did you every check out