Bloggers such as Steve Clemons and John Aravosis have noted Pat Robertson’s grotesque suggestion that Ariel Sharon’s stroke was some kind of divine retribution for “dividing gods land.” I did an extra double take (I guess we’re on triple takes) at this, however:

And the same thing — I had a wonderful meeting with Yitzhak Rabin in 1974. He was tragically assassinated, and it was terrible thing that happened, but nevertheless, he was dead.

What’s that now? The Rabin assassination was “the same thing”? Because this “terrible thing” caveat notwithstanding, the only way I can parse that introductory bit is to read Robertson as suggesting that Rabin’s murder, too, was an act of God—which would entail that God guided Yigal Amir to kill the Israeli prime minister, perhaps even made sure the bullet found its target. Which, funnily enough, is Yigal Amir’s take on the killing as well: That he was acting under divine guidance to prevent Israeli land from being ceded. The only puzzle is how Robertson can think that divine intervention constitutes a “terrible thing.” Shouldn’t he be proclaiming these murders and cerebral hemorrhages holy, even miraculous? And if Robertson endorses Amir’s defense that he was only carrying out God’s will, will Robertson follow that thought to its logical conclusion and demand that Amir be freed?

—posted by Julian


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