one word from us....!
THIS column would like to claim responsibility for striking a blow against the high commander of the faithful American evangelical crusader-imperialists.
Well, we did our bit.
We reported how right-wing US evangelist and presidential hopeful Pat Robertson, who backs Israeli expansionism and says Ariel Sharon was punished with a stroke for withdrawing settlers from Gaza, was planning to set up a "heritage" park in Galilee, on land given by the Israeli government.
(Theme Park for Armageddon. Januaty 8).
We noted Robertson’s call for the death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, and his suggestion that the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin was divine retribution. We warned that American evangelical fanatics believe in the "return" of all Jews to Israel, and their conversion, followed by Armageddon, a huge war, to bring the Second Coming.
Well, to be fair, lots of people were saying the same thing. But it was gratifying to note a large number of Israeli visitors to this site - as there was when we commented on the European Union’s decision to suppress a report on Jerusalem and the West Bank. This time we also got some visitors from places like Tennessee where they know about Pat Robertson.
And now a bit of news:-
JERUSALEM (CNN) --
Pat Robertson's mouth has cost him
his piece of the Holy Land.
Israel on Wednesday said it would go ahead with plans to build an evangelical Christian heritage center in northern Israel -- but without Robertson, after the Christian Coalition founder said Israeli leader Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for "dividing God's land."
"From our perspective, such a statement made for a person that is lying in a hospital bed is outrageous," Deputy Tourism Minister Rami Levy told CNN.
Robertson had led a group of evangelicals planning the $50 million center, a joint venture with the state of Israel. The facility is to be built along the Sea of Galilee, where Christians believe Jesus walked on water.
The ministry said its decision to cut ties with Robertson was directly related to his comments. However, Israel will still continue with the project, Levy said.
"Same joint venture, just the players are going to be changed," he said. (Watch how Israel's decision curbs Robertson's plans -- 1:16)
Robertson had no immediate comment.
"We do not respond to media reports on our relationship with other governments, and we have not talked to the Israelis on this topic," his spokeswoman, Angell Watts, said Wednesday.
The Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals, said the controversy "is a blow to evangelical-Israeli relations -- and the situation is unfortunate." He said for the project to move forward, evangelical leaders "must exercise sensitivity and grace towards the people and leadership of the nation of Israel."
So, that's a lesson for them. You can call for assassination of South American leaders who have upset America, you can preach nuclear Armageddon, but just mind your Ps and Qs when you are reaching for buckshee real estate in Israel. The politicians have some sensitivity. Sort of. In an election year.
If this controversy really was a "blow to evangelical-Israeli relations", I do hope we have contributed. But it's just a beginning.
Unity in protest over attack on refugees
ARAB and Africans, accompanied by a small number of English people, took part in a demonstration at the Egyptian embassy in London on Friday, January 6, protesting at the security forces' assault on Sudanese refugees in Cairo on New Years Day which left more than two dozen dead and scores injured.
(Eye-witness in Cairo to brutality against refugees, Jan.4)
On a bleak cold day devout Muslims kneeled in Sabbath prayer at the start of the demonstration, but leaders stressed it was a demonstration for unity. "They found Bibles and Korans in the park where the people were attacked," an imam said.
It was also stressed that the demonstration was against the Egyptian govenment and not Egyptian people. The demonstrators chanted that Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak was a murderer, and "down with Hosni Mubarak".
There were also placards against the Sudanese government and jamjaweed militia responsible for repression and massacres of people in the Dhafur region.
One African woman passing remonstrated with others that they should not be supporting Muslims "who are killing us". Sudanese women went to explain to her that this was for everybody against the killing and the governments responsible.
Lack of publicity (and lack of news coverage of the Egyptian massacre) may explain the small numbers on the demonstration, which was mounted at short notice, without clear identity for those organising it, and without support from organisations which might have been expected to participate. We may have our political doubts about some involved, but like the Sudanese women who came, we believe the issue of brutality and murder of refugees overrode any differences.