Pat Robertson apologizes (sort of)
The US TV evangelist Pat Robertson has apologised to the family of Israel's prime minister, Ariel Sharon, for suggesting that his stroke was God's punishment for withdrawing from Gaza.
In a letter to Mr Sharon's son, Omri, Mr Robertson said his remarks derived from his "concern for the future safety of your nation". But he admitted they were insensitive "in light of a national grief experienced because of your father's illness".
I wonder if Robertson's apology has anything to do with this:
The Israeli government is pulling out of a business deal with the American evangelical leader Pat Robertson, after he said Ariel Sharon's stroke was punishment by God for withdrawing from the Gaza strip.
Mr Robertson and the Israeli tourism ministry were shortly to have signed an agreement to fund a $50m (£28m) Christian heritage centre on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
But the ministry said the deal would not go ahead after Mr Robertson's comments on his popular television show in which he suggested that Mr Sharon had been made to suffer for "dividing God's land".
Could Pat's apology represent an attempt to salvage the deal?Avi Hartuv, a spokesman for Israel's tourism minister, said officials were furious about the remarks.
"We will not do business with him - only with other evangelicals who don't back these comments," he said. "We will do business with other evangelical leaders, friends of Israel, but not with him."
Nahh. Couldn't be. Pat Robertson is a man of God. (At least, that's what he claims.) Business concerns couldn't make him backtrack on core beliefs, could they?
Of course not.