• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

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Pat’s Message of Compassion to Refugees: Go to Saudi

I suppose that reporting on Pat Robertson for making a speech that dehumanises Palestinians and rejects any Israeli plan which would put people’s lives before his apocalyptic vision is a bit like announcing that a bear has crapped in the woods, but his latest pronouncement, made in Jerusalem, is his clearest statement yet in support of the idea that those whose DNA does not belong to the chosen race should be cleansed from God’s Land. According to the Jerusalem Post:

He said that Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia should take in Palestinian refugees, adding that “the Arab nations” are instead interested in preserving the conflict with Israel…

In the press conference, Robertson also said that the UN agency that deals with Palestinian refugees should be dismantled. “UNRWA should be abolished. It has perpetuated intolerable situation for refugees and kept them in perpetual bondage,” he said.

According to UNRWA, there are 1,316,710 refugees in the camps it runs, out of a registered refugee total of 4,136,449. That figure does not include Palestinians living elsewhere or internally displaced within Israel proper. Pat’s proposal to dismantle UNWRA would make therefore make 1,316,710 people homeless as well as stateless. He must know that there is no law that can force the other countries to absorb the refugees, even if those refugees wished to give up their individually-held rights under international law to return to their homes in Israel proper (and I can’t see Pat welcoming those whom he sees as worshippers of Satan to Virginia Beach as an alternative).

But that is only part of Pat’s anti-humanitarianism. There are 665,246 refugees overall in the West Bank, and 922,674 in Gaza. According to the CIA World Factbook, the total Palestinian population of the West Bank is 2,311,204, while Gaza (which Pat is also keen for Israel to hang on to) has a population of 1,324,991. In other words, refugees make up around 28% of the population of the West Bank, and around 70% of Gaza. That means that Pat wants to expel about 49% of the Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories. On top of that, according to sources cited by the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Global IDP (Internally Displaced Person) Project, there are around 250,000 internally displaced persons in Israel proper, whose continued presence Pat may or may not see as a block on the return of Jesus.

Of course, that’s just an analysis of this particular statement. It’s in fact more likely that Pat is favour of complete ethnic cleansing, as my entry here suggests.

Christianity Today has a round-up of the various news sources for Robertson’s latest tour, but none of them mention the reason that brought him to Jerusalem, Robert Stearns and Jack Hayford’s “Day to Pray”, which I have covered before. Instead, they focus on his links with the Festival of Tabernacles and the International Christian Embassy.

(PS: The Revealer links to a report that the Simon Wiesenthal Center wants payments to UNWRA suspended over its failure to block the employment of Hamas members)

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