It is stories like this that make me terrified that Schadenfreude may be lethal:
Israel won’t do business with Pat Robertson after the evangelical leader suggested Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s massive stroke was divine punishment, a tourism official said Wednesday, putting into doubt plans to develop a large Christian tourism center in northern Israel.
Avi Hartuv, spokesman for Israel’s tourism minister, said officials are furious with Robertson’s suggestion that the stroke was retribution for Sharon’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip last summer. “We can’t accept this kind of statement,” Hartuv said.
Robertson is leading a group of evangelicals who have pledged to raise $50 million to build the Christian Heritage Center in Israel’s northern Galilee region, where tradition says Jesus lived and taught.
Under a tentative agreement, Robertson’s group was to put up the funding, while Israel would provide land and infrastructure. Israeli officials believe the project will generate tens of millions of tourism dollars.
All I really have to say is the following:
Sorry. If you want some more reasoned commentary, go check out the Carpetbagger. I am pouring myself a drink and lighting a cigar.
So, basically, you have to tell them you hope their leader dies for them to grow some ethics.
That’s beautiful, John. I’ll join you on that drink. Heh.
It’s partially because of comments just like that Israel, for better or worse, has to seek friends whereever it can find them – and then as long as it can tolerate them.
The only country that has to choose allies and friends for purely “ethical” considerations (unlike our “friendship” with the Saudis or the French love affair with Saddam)
Damn unethical Jews! Just incapable of being ethical like everyone else just as it says in black and white in the Protocols!
That’s only 1/16 of the karma that Robertson deserves by this point. What would make my year, nay…my life, would be for the Pope to smack him with his staff and say, “What is WRONG with you?”
Maybe that would have happened a Pope ago.
nyrev – That would have been enough to make me seriously consider returning to the Catholic fold. :)
I’ve no doubt waxed poetic about ethical Saddam, Saudis and French. You look for codewords, I’ll treat Israelis as Israeli.
As I’ve told my Israeli friends since the 80’s: “My Christian friends can’t wait for y’all to die in the Rapture”.
They think I’m kidding. Karma goes both ways.
The headline on Yahoo news was:
“Israel suspends contact with Pat Robertson”
For some reason I love that headline. The idea that a country would break off diplomatic relations with an individual is amusing.
So what? It’s not going to happen, but the Israelis shouldn’t be punished for that fact.
If the Europeans (and our State Department) stop sucking up to the Muslim/Arab for the oil, then maybe the “Zionist entity” could afford to be more choosy with their friends.
When “rational actors” calculate that their are only 5 million Jews in Israel and 1.3 billion Muslims the world over, not to mention thte fact that more Jews than currently live in Israel were wiped out in Europe last century, they don’t have the luxury of perfect ethics.
Pat Robertson is a huge asshole and a grade-A idiot, and the fact that Israel put up with his shenanigans for so long is a testament to the fact that the world heaps tremendous amount of negative attention and pressure on a tiny country. I wish we lived in a world where Israel had it’s pick of friends, but all they’ve got is the U.S., the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau and Australia – and fricking moonbats like Pat Robertson – against 150 countries including Europe.
It kills me when people say the U.S. needs to be more “even handed” towards the I/P conflict. The rest of the world is not “even handed.”
The best part? Robertson is denying he made the comments and claiming he was “misquoted.” He was on video! On his own show!
Too bad they’re not covering this story on CBN.
That would be fun. A whole page devoted to Israel and nothing about it.
The Other Steve
Personally, I’d prefer a Christian Heritage Center be built by Christians, and not Satan’s Disciple Pat Robertson. I’m sure some more mainstream Christian churches in America would be more than happy to help raise funds.
solCalJustice – You appear to be looking for enemies where enemies do not exist. It’s no wonder you find them so easily.
Thanks for the advice, The Other Steve, but since it’s coming from someone who attacked me on another thread, I think I’ll pass.
In fact, if you want to just scroll by and ignore all my posts on any thread on any blog/website, that would be just peachy. I promise I’ll do the same for you.
By the way, I am democrat. I voted for Kerry. I volunteered for the Edwards campaign and wanted him to win the nomination. I voted for Gore in 2000, and Clinton twice before that.
Newsflash: not all of us are happy that a (famously) former Klansman is a Senator IN OUR PARTY from West Virginia and *big shock* – some of us think that’s bad for West Virginia, the party and the country. (Just as their are probably Republicans who think Trent Lott, Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond are huge embarrassments). And, despite your apparent strong feelings from the contrary, pointing that out does not make someone a Republican.
I think Israel is remarkably ethical compared to most similar countries and colonies, maybe because of its liberal Jewish traditions. But it’s still a border state that has been at war with its neighbors throughout its existence. All its institutions have been designed or adapted for war and occupation of its neighbor. Every state like that becomes corrupt and unethical. And now Israel’s worst policies, like preventive war, collective punishment of cities and families, and torture of prisoners, are corrupting us.
You seem to have a really low opinion of religious kooks – or maybe just white religious kooks. Tom Delay used to say his job in Congress was to bring religious scripture to fruition (as in Revelations).
One day, if politicos like GW keep getting elected, these folks will get what they’re wishing for. Because I know alot of them, and they are praying for it every fucking day.
Brown Bogeymen Everywhere!
Israel is not really threatened by any Frenchmen or brown people. It has thermonuclear weapons. Time to grow up and realize you’re being played, or are ethically challenged.
Not that I agree with the thrust of your post, but, just out of curiosity, what’s your advice for the Israelis so that they can be corruption-free and fully ethical?
It’s a tough neighborhood over there. It’s not like its neighbors are Canada or Norway.
Pretty much all of them. But thanks for calling me racist.
What is your obsession with brown people? More than half of Israelis are “brown” (from Sephardic, Mizrahi, Yemeni, Ethiopian, etc.. descent) You definitely have issues with race.
Whatever. Nukes can’t guard against all threats. It’s not like Israel can ever really use them anyway. Just to give you a fairly obvious example, over 1,000 Israelis have been killed over the last four years and having nukes didn’t stop that.
Ok. Continue your race baiting now.
The Other Steve
I hope i didn’t make you cry.
I’ll tell you what. I won’t attack you if you promise not to act like a moonbat.
The Other Steve
Considering you came into this thread calling people anti-semitic… that’s kind of funny.
SoCalJustice, it won’t happen, but Israel needs to make peace with its neighbors. Nearly the entire world thinks the way it should start doing that is by getting behind the 1967 borders. But again, I know it won’t happen. They’ll never give up the Old City and Temple Mount. The whole thing is a tragedy.
The Other Steve:
Thanks for demonstrating for everyone here why democrats keep losing elections to corrupt and disengenuous republicans
You are an excellent case study
It takes two sides to make peace
Israel was ready to give up virtually the entire West Bank and allow the Palestinians to have their capital in East Jerusalem at Camp David and Taba
They should be allowed to ask for some security concessions from the other side to ensure they do not make a huge mistake by giving up land for war instead of land for peace
So much for scrolling by my posts. Whatever.
I didn’t call “people” anti-Semitic, unless you think one post can be made by more than one person. Which is in line with the type of thinking that assumes one has to be a Republican to think having a former Klan member represent a state in the Senate is, perhaps, a bad thing.
It’s not “unethical” for Israel to try and find allies where ever it can in an unfriendly world. Everyone has less than perfect “friends.”
Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch.
The most glaring underlying flaw I see in your logic is this: just because other people do it, that doesn’t make it right. Also, you can’t expect to have it both ways. Incidentally, if Israel’s only ally was the US, that’d still be more than enough–in fact, it has been more than enough for decades.
Sorry, just saw Avenue Q and that was one of the songs. I now think that all politicians should have to conduct public hearings with puppets. Imagine the Alito hearings with puppets. It would be outstanding television.
Not everyone is a tiny country surrounded by hostile neighbors. They don’t have the same luxuries we do (size, population, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans between us and our enemies). The logical flaw is assuming every country is similarly situated and has the same needs.
Or maybe there would be peace and a Palestinian state already (or perhaps we would be much closer to it) if the Europeans and/or the UN didn’t bend over backwards to enusre the that Palestinians were never held accountable for any transgression.
Disengagement from Gaza – even though they’re still shooting rockets into Israel – is a good first step. Hopefully disengagement from – at least msot of – the West Bank will follow. Best next time that it won’t be unilateral, although with Hamas poised to win – or do well – in the January 25 election, that possibility is looking fairly remote.
So Cal Justice…I support the jewish people.. I feel bad that America initially sat by while the genocide went on against them in europe..
however I also feel that Isreal is not a blameless entity..your statement about Isreal was willing to give up “virtually the entire West Bank” is untrue and you know it. It was ready to give back 88-92% but only have criscrossing “Isreali only” highways… in effect making dozens of little ghetto towns for Palestinians..
You also mentioned 1000 isreali’s have died.. and like Charles Krauthhammer of WaPo… you failed to mention that over four thousand Palestinians have also died.. Obviously they aren’t worth mentioning..just like they don’t deserver the lands they live on
BTW, this is why I think the “ethics” of this situation aren’t so cut and dry, despite Robertson being a nutter:
That means a lot to a small country, especially one that depends heavily on tourism for the economy. And, for better or worse, Christian conservatives vacation in Israel even when there are security concerns. Many of them are super nice people, even if Robertson is insane.
It is fun to joke about what a lunatic Robertson is – because he is. But there are jobs and livelihoods at stake for the Israelis.
I’m sure they’d be much happier if congenial American liberals swarmed their tourist spots. But Israel is important to Christianity – not just to the nutty-falwell/robertson wing of the religion – and Israel tries to be accomodating to other faiths, in a very sensitive part of the world.
There are tons of Mosques in Israel – inside the Green Line. Which is much more than can be said of the number of Churches and Synagogues in say, Saudi Arabia.
The Other Steve
I think it’s past your bedtime.
Wow, you used the word “think.”
You are capable of irony.
One thing to remember is that far more Jews have been killed by Christians over the years than by Muslims. Remember, when the Christians conquered Spain from the Muslims, the first thing they did was kill hundreds of thousands of Jews — Jews who’d been living there in peace for hundreds of years under the Muslim caliphs. Remember, when the Christians conquered Jeruseleum in the Crusades, they broke into the Jewish synagogues where the Jewish population of the city had fled for shelter — a Jewish population probably of over 50,000 people that had been coexisting in peace with many more Muslims for close to 400 years by that time — and slaughtered them all, to the last man, woman, and child. Remember, it was Christians who brought the word “pogrom” to the Jewish people. Christians have been the enemy of Jews from the time that the emperor Constantine declared Christianity to be the official religion of the Roman Empire, and have slaughtered millions of Jews over the centuries, with the last great slaughter of Jews by Christians managing to kill virtually the entire Jewish population of Europe.
So there is no ancient, historical antipathy between the Muslim and Jewish peoples similar to the ancient, historical antipathy between the Christians and the Jewish peoples. The Jews and Muslims lived in peace together throughout the Middle East from the time of Mohammed onwards. The recent antipathy between Muslims and Jews is primarily due to two things: First, the use of the British courts to expel so many Arabs from their historic lands during the Palestinian mandate (the British used the old Turkish land records, which had not been updated in centuries, to detirmine that various people who lived on the lands did not in fact own those lands and that impoverished Turks who’d never been near Palestine in fact owned that land, and then European Jews fleeing Christian oppression bought the land from the Turkish “owners” for cheap, not knowing or not caring that the true owners of the land were being ripped off by uncaring British bureaucrats), and secondly, the use of armed force to expel a million plus more people from their lands in the 1948 war and afterward, without any compensation by anybody. The Jews felt they were owned those lands because of the evil that Christians had perpetrated upon them. The Muslims felt they were being punished for the crimes of the Christians — it was Christians, after all, who killed millions of European Jews in the period 1935-1945 — and justly or not, took offense at that. If the United States and the European nations had come in and compensated the Arabs who had been kicked off their lands, that probably would have been the end of it, the Arabs would have grumbled a bit, then settled down somewhere else using their new grubstake and gone about their business. But they didn’t. For whatever reason, the Western nations instead tacitly condoned ethnic cleansing in the former Palestinian mandate and didn’t even talk about the possibility of compensating those who’d been forced out at gunpoint, perhaps because the Israelis were quick to point out that the Western nations had themselves indulged in ethnic cleansing during the post-WWII period, with millions of Germans being uprooted from their historic lands and shoved west, millions of Poles being uprooted from their historic lands and shoved west, millions of Ukranians being uprooted from their historic lands and shoved southeast, etc.
And thus the “Palestinians” were invented — a people whose shared heritage was one of injustice, whose shared “nationality” was a product of that injustice (before the 1948 war, they simply considered themselves Arabs), and whose purpose over the years has gone from fighting for the right of return for those expelled from their lands, to an insane hatred and a desire for a new “nation” to replace the one they never had. And for the sins of Christians, both Muslims and Jews have died over these past five decades of strife in the Middle East. For the sins of Christians, injustices have grown and rankled and spawned evil over these past five decades. For the sins of Christians…
And Pat Robertson wonders why suddenly he is persona non grata in Israel when he reminds the Israelis that a major part of their problems are due to narrow-minded “Christians” like himself? He’s lucky Mossad doesn’t do a hit on him!
— Badtux the History Penguin
PS: Who are these “hostile nations” that Israel is surrounded by? Jordan and Egypt have been at peace with Israel for 30 years now. Syria lacks both the will and capability to do anything hostile against Israel, even if their ruler wasn’t a British-educated ophthalmologist rather than the typical crazed lunatic of the region (yeah, fear the eye doctor of mass destruction, huzzah!). Lebanon doesn’t even have an army. Iraq is completely prostrate. Where are the “hostile nations” in this bunch? Has someone suddenly created new nations in the Middle East and forgot to tell the rest of us about it?!
The “hostile nations” argument for the seige mentality in modern Israel is a lot like the “weapons of mass destruction” argument for invading Iraq… it requires a lot of paranoia and a lot of imagination and a lot of willingness to disregard those little things called, like, *facts*. But what else is new, where politics is concerned?!
— Badtux the Snarky Penguin
John, I just love the title of this post.
I love Israel!!! Seems like the Israelis are much smarter than Americans. There’s a very fine line between religion and psychosis, Pat “Whackadu” Robertson crossed it a long time ago!! Do you think he’s the only one that doesn’t know he’s going to hell??
This will all blow over soon enough and Pat will be back to being the “respected man of God” that the Republicans pretend not to listen to.
I spoke with Pat just last night, and he told me that “expect terrible things to happen to Israel. God is not mocked!”
I askd him what kinds of terrible things, and Pat just smiled.
“I’m not talking about another visit from Condi Rice!” he chuckled.
Egypt for 25 years and Jordan for 12, but yes, they have signed peace treaties. Hopefully more will follow. That would be awesome. But the incitement from the state run media in both countries continue, including a serialized version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion on Egyptian Television (not really in the spirit of peace). Egyptian terrorists recently blew up several hotels in the Sinai frequented by Israelis.
It’s not as bad as it was in ’67 or ’73 (everywhere except with respect to Iran – which is much worse than it’s ever been) but it’s not like living in Montana and having Alberta to the North or being Norway and having Sweden to the West.
The “seige mentality” is not a figment of their imagination, as nice as would be to pretend that it is. The regional international organization is called “the Arab League” – not “the Middle East League.”
Whoops – first quote box is me. Meant to highlight BadTux’s question:
Or Sweden to the East. (Time for coffee).
The Other Steve
Or South Korea with North Korea to the north!
Scroll up, read my previous link, do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Tens of millions of dollars might mean a lot to Palestine; it’s a drop in the bucket for Israel–we already support them to the tune of *billions* (if not tens of billions) of dollars every year, and we have for decades. Really, your “Israel is a poor impoverished country surrounded on all sides by wolves” routine is worse then disgusting when put in any sort of real context that you refuse to give it.
And what context would that be? The context that Israel is in fact surrounded by neighbors who openly call for the destruction of Israel and deny her very right to exist? these same neighbors who teach their children to hate the ‘dirty jews’, educating them with maps which don’t show a nation of Israel. That’s the real context of what Israel faces.
Terrorist Hamas wins overwhelmingly in Palestinian elections, but the arabs ‘only want peace’, right?
where did i say it was poor and/or impoverished? in your mind, “small country heavily dependent no tourism” (which is a fact not in dispute, as far as i know) must mean that – but it’s a huge leap.
and people do have jobs there, though, and tourism is one of, if not, their biggest industries. and losing out on tens of millions of dollars does suck for them. like all countries (save monaco and luxembourg, perhaps), they do have some poor people there. they also have unemployed people. if american christians wanted to set up a shrine in Bethlehem that would give a boost to the local Palestinian economy, but then the deal fell through because the american minister said something ridiculous about the Palestinians, that would suck too. worse, obviously, but the two propositions aren’t mutually exclusive.
you’re allowed to think whatever you want, i don’t care. but just because one country in the Middle East is trying to escape most of maladies endemic to the region doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be concerned when they lose a potential boost to their economy.
as far as our aid to israel goes, it’s mostly military. and i also think we should give them less, and that we should exert more pressure on them to remove settlements from the West Bank and move their security fence/”apartheid wall” closer to the ’67 borders in the places where it strays.
so go ahead and be disgusted.
The Other Steve:
I appreciate your stalking, but still hope one day you’ll just decide to make the world a better place and scroll by. And pop a valium.
Look, if we want SoCal’s opinions on Israel before he utters them we need only turn on Wolf Blitzer or Fox for the official position.
As for the idea that the “rest of the world” doesn’t have a balanced position, that gives a new meaning the “blood libel.”
Finally, SoCal didn’t start the antisemite mud throwing. I insist on being the first-mudee, by Demi who is using an Echelon Radome to keep track of my suspicious record.
And if the record is still being kept, scan this: all Israel needs to do is go back to the 67 borders and they are fine by me–and, probably, the “rest of the world” too. And if that sounds like the Wannsee Conference to you, do seek help.
This is so incredibly important, and yet as soon as you try to bring it up to a right-winger, you can’t even finish the sentence before they get red in the face and start screaming, “Terrorist sympathizer! America hater! Aid and comfort! Treason! Sedition! Traitor! Uh…Cindy Sheehan!”
It’s kind of sad. It’s like the people who are most ardently pursuing this war–both civilian and government folks alike–are the ones with the strongest aversion to actually understanding the region we’re caught up in.