by Judy Lash Balint www.jerusalemdiaries.blogspot.com
January 5, 2006
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Good old Pat Robertson is at it again--Robertson, with his special line to God, has told the 700 Club audience that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a stroke as a consequence of giving away parts of the land of Israel. Unfortunately, a few Gush Katif evictees voiced the same view--in all likelihood they're the same people who believed their rabbis who were convinced that God wouldn't let the Gaza eviction happen.
Apart from the fact that Sharon with his genetic heart defect, weight, lifestyle and eating habits (he routinely downed several portions of meat at a sitting) was a disaster waiting to happen, the notion that anyone understands God's ways or believes that bad deeds are punished and good people don't suffer strokes is just infantile.
One doctor told the Israeli news service YNET that it was highly likely that publicity surrounding the announcement yesterday that Sharon allegedly took $3 million in bribes from an Austrian businessman could have contributed to the onset of the stroke.
Meantime, it's incredible to observe how widespread is the phenomenon of Israelis who view Sharon as the beloved grandfather figure (maybe Godfather would be more appropriate) Despite infrequent public addresses and direct evidence to the contrary (increasingly frequent Kassam attacks on southern Israel, Katyusha attacks in the north), Sharon still managed to engender confidence in his ability to protect the people.
My neighbor Ehud Olmert, on the other hand, is one of the most disliked politicians in Israel. With elections scheduled for March 28 it's going to be a roller coaster few months.