There’s something about hearing about a disaster, or the fact that a very important person is sick or, worse, dead. It usually brings out the best in people, draws friends closer, and at least for the moment, makes well-wishers out of rivals and enemies. Our government, whose support of Israel is no secret, has had nothing but prayers for Ariel Sharon’s recovery from his stroke, and his counterpart Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinians has expressed his concerns and wishes for a speedy recovery.
Of course, there are exceptions. On both sides.
Not surprising is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, who has called for Israel to be “wiped off the map.” So it’s not surprising to me that Ahmadinejad would not, even for an instant, consider toning down his rhetoric against the man who leads Israel: (Yahoo News, via The Moderate Voice)
“Hopefully, the news that the criminal of Sabra and Chatilla has joined his ancestors is final,” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by the semiofficial Iranian Students News Agency.
In other words, he’s kicking the man when he’s down. And in this case, kicking him in the head and hoping another blood vessel pops to finish him off.
What is somewhat surprising, but at the same time not really so given his tendency to also mouth off, is Pat Robinson’s shot at Sharon. Yes, Robertson talked about death as well, wishing for the sudden, violent death of Hugo Chavez. But Robertson criticizing Sharon, when he can’t defend himself? Especially when he describes him such?
Robertson said Thursday that Sharon was “a very likable person, and I am sad to see him in this condition.”
A friendly remark so far. But he goes on:
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.” … 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.”
He also insinuated that former PM Yitzhak Rabin brought his assassination upon himself by similar means.
Now, Robertson is referring to Joel 3:2, which says that God will gather the nations and pass judgment against them for scattering Israel and dividing their land. In those days, Israel was sacked and pillaged, drawn and quartered. It was done by force. Well, it’s now the 21st century and the modern nation of Israel is almost 60 years old. And in this case, the initiative is coming from the inside, through peaceful negotiation and the realization that violence cannot continue. I think the Bible has something to say about this: Matthew 5:9 says it all.
All I can say is, if I had a friend like Pat Robertson, I don’t want him giving the eulogy at my funeral. Heaven knows what he would say.