Do Americans, even in anxious times, prefer an optimistic leader or an angry one?
Leave it to Pat Robertson to ascertain God’s will yet again, this time in regards to the stroke that befell Sharon.
The televangelist detected the hand of God Almighty, saying that Sharon had crossed the Creator’s wishes by giving Gaza back to the Palestinians.
“He was dividing God’s land,” Robertson said on his 700 Club TV show, adding: “I would say, ‘Woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU, the United Nations, or the United States of America.”
Many people chalked up this latest Robertson rant as just another indication that the guy’s not all there.
And while I’m certainly prepared to believe that, there’s more to this story.
Robertson was merely espousing in his typical clumsy style what a lot of rightwing fundamentalists believe: And that is that the existence of the state of Israel foretells the End Times, the coming of the Apocalypse, when Jesus will return and when everyone will either have to convert to Christianity or die.
And Bush, whether he believes this or not, takes that constituency seriously.
Like Robertson, many rightwing fundamentalists were outraged in 2004 that the Bush Administration was urging Sharon to leave Gaza and make peace with the Palestinians. Ever concerned with his base, Bush had neocon ex-felon Elliott Abrams meet with them on March 25, 2004, according to the Village Voice.
Abrams was Bush’s National Security Council director for Near East and North African Affairs.
According to the Voice, Abrams sat down with leaders of the Apostolic Congress to massage “their theological concerns.” They said that “all of old Testament Israel belongs to the Jews,” and “until Israel is intact and Solomon’s temple rebuilt, they believe, Christ won’t come back to Earth.”
Abrams, who himself will have to convert or die if the Apocalypse arrives any time soon, tried to persuade them that Gaza “had no significant” biblical importance.
This is the company that the White House keeps.
It’s not Robertson I worry about. It’s Bush.