The Web  
    The Early Show  |  CBS Evening News  |  48 Hours  |  60 Minutes  |  CBS Sunday Morning  |  Face The Nation  |  Up To The Minute  |  Build Your Own Newscast

Section Front

U.S. Main PageU.S. Main Page
Gulf Coast DisastersGulf Coast Disasters
Everybody Has A StoryEverybody Has A Story
War On TerrorWar On Terror
September 11 AnniversarySeptember 11 Anniversary Downloads
U.S. VideoU.S. Video


Ariel SharonAriel Sharon
A look at the life of Israel's 11th prime minister
Ariel Sharon


Mideast ConflictMideast Conflict
Recent events, key players and a history of the world's most unstable region.
Mideast Conflict


Eye on ReligionEye on Religion
Find out more about the beliefs, practices and history of some of the world's major religions.
Eye on Religion


Robertson: God's Wrath Hit Sharon?
Televangelist Says Israeli Leader's Stroke Could Be Punishment
Robertson: God's Wrath Hit Sharon?

Robertson: Pa. Voters Rejected God
Religious Broadcaster Blasts Town That Ousted School Board Members
Robertson: Pa. Voters Rejected God

Robertson Apologizes
Televangelist 'Spoke In Frustration' Calling For Chavez Assassination
Robertson Apologizes

Televangelist Robertson Under Fire
Call To 'Take Out' Venezuela Leader Sparks Outrage In U.S. & Abroad
Televangelist Robertson Under Fire

E-Mail This StoryPrintable Version

White House Rebukes Robertson

NORFOLK, Va., Jan. 5, 2006

"I would say woe to any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU, the United Nations, or the United States of America."

Christian televangalist Pat Robertson

(CBS/AP) The White House sharply criticized Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson on Friday for suggesting that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine punishment for "dividing God's land."

"Those comments are wholly inappropriate and offensive and really don't have a place in this or any other debate," presidential spokesman Trent Duffy said as President Bush traveled to Chicago for a speech.

Religious leaders denounced Robertson's remarks as "un-Christian."

Speaking Thursday on his TV program "The 700 Club," Robertson said, "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.'"

Sharon, who ordered Israel's withdrawal from Gaza last year, suffered a severe stroke on Wednesday.

In his broadcast, Robertson called Sharon "a very tender-hearted man and a good friend" and said he had personally prayed with him about a year ago. He said he was sad to see Sharon in this condition.

He also said, however, that in the Bible, the prophet Joel "makes it very clear that God has enmity against those who 'divide my land."'

Sharon "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 (European Union), the United Nations, or the United States of America," Robertson said.

In discussing what he said was God's insistence that Israel not be divided, Robertson also referred to the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who had sought to achieve peace by giving land to the Palestinians. "It was a terrible thing that happened, but nevertheless he was dead," he said.

Anti-Defamation League director Abraham H. Foxman called Robertson's remarks "un-Christian and a perversion of religion" and urged Christian leaders to "distance themselves" from the broadcaster.

People For the American Way Foundation, which monitors "The 700 Club," also criticized Robertson's comments, calling them "an implicit reference to recent steps the prime minister has taken to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process."

"Once again, Pat Robertson leaves us speechless with his insensitivity and arrogance," the group's president, Ralph G. Neas, said in a statement.

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said a religious leader "should not be making callous political points while a man is struggling for his life."

"Pat Robertson has a political agenda for the entire world, and he seems to think God is ready to take out any world leader who stands in the way of that agenda," Lynn said in a statement.

But Robertson spokeswoman Angell Watts refused to back down, saying of critics who challenged his remarks, "What they're basically saying is, `How dare Pat Robertson quote the Bible?"'

"This is what the word of God says," Watts said. "This is nothing new to the Christian community."

It's not the first time Robertson's remarks have stirred controversy. In August, he suggested on "The 700 Club" that American agents should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has long been at odds with U.S. foreign policy. Robertson later apologized, saying he "spoke in frustration."

And in November, he warned residents of a rural Pennsylvania town that disaster may strike there because they voted to oust school board members who favored teaching intelligent design.

"If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God," he told residents of Dover, Pa. "You just rejected him from your city."

©MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Alleged Mafia Cop Speaks Out
Former Cop Accused Of Mafia Ties Speaks To Ed Bradley

Mourners Grieve For Mine Victims
Union: Cop Died From Ground Zero Air
Pushing Stay-At-Home Healthcare
• More
Mourners Grieve For Mine Victims
Funerals Begin For Those Who Died In Sago Mine Explosion

Black Hawk Crash Kills 12
Sharon To Stay In Coma Until Monday
Three More Bird Flu Cases In Turkey
• More

Back To Top Back To Top

E-Mail AlertsRSS FeedsPodcasts

Go To CBS News Video


Watch VideoRobertson: Sharon Punished? | E-Mail

Watch VideoSharon In Drug-Induced Coma | E-Mail

Watch VideoIsrael After Sharon? | E-Mail


Watch VideoMiner's Last Notes | E-Mail

Watch VideoCoal Mining Recruits | E-Mail

Watch VideoPaying Respects To The Miners | E-Mail

Watch VideoSago Mine 911 Tape Released | E-Mail

More Video


    E-Mail Sign-Up:  Breaking News  |  Today On CBS News  |  60 Minutes  |  48 Hours  |  The Early Show  |  CBS Sunday Morning  |  News Summaries

    Recommended Sites:  CBS Corporation  |  |  CBS SportsLine  |  |  CBS Store  |  CBS Careers  |  CBS Cares
    Site Map  |  Help  |  Advertise  |  Contact Us  |  Terms of Service  |  Privacy Policy  |  CBS Bios  |  Internships
US News & World News The Web  

©MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.