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Reform Jewish Leader Condemns Pat Robertson Statements Concerning Prime Minister Sharon

New York - January 5, 2006 - Referring to a statement on the January 5 edition of Christian Broadcasting Network's (CBN) The 700 Club, in which host Rev. Pat Robertson suggested that Ariel Sharon is being punished by God for dividing the Land of Israel, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

As Prime Minister Sharon lies gravely ill in Jerusalem, and Jews everywhere pray for his recovery and well-being, I would have hoped that simple human decency would impel Reverend Robertson to put politics aside and to leave the Prime Minister and his family in peace.  Sadly, but not surprisingly, that was too much to ask. The suggestion that Mr. Sharon is being punished by God is profoundly offensive to all Jews, regardless of their religious outlook or political persuasion.

Transcript of the Robertson’s Comments
The 700 Club
January 5, 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen I said last year that Israel was entering into the most dangerous periods of its entire existence as a nation. That is intensifying this year with the loss of Sharon. Sharon was personally a very likeable person and I am sad to see him in this condition, 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 “divide my land.” God considers this land to be His. You read the Bible and He says “this is my land” and for any Prime Minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says “no, this is mine.” I had a wonderful meeting with Yitzhak Rabin in 1974. He was tragically assassinated, it was a terrible thing that happened but nevertheless he was dead. And now Ariel Sharon who again was a very likeable person, a delightful person to be with, I prayed with him personally, but here he’s at the point of death. 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 the United States of America. God says “this land belongs to me. You’d better leave it alone.”

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