Deal-Makers and Deal-Breakers...
Pat Robertson - you crossed the RED line - at least in the eyes of Israel's Ministry of Tourism.
Reacting to Ariel Sharon's massive stroke, US evangelical leader Pat Robertson had the following to say (Courtesy of Jerusalem Post):
"God considers the land to be his… For any prime minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away he says, 'No, this is mine.'"
In response, Tourism Minister Avraham Hirchson has decided to suspend all progress on a joint project - headed by Robertson - "who agreed to raise more than $50 million to build the Heritage Center on a 14-dunam plot of land on the shores of the Sea of Galilee... The government expected the center to bring an additional 750,000 visitors to the country annually", stating,
"The minister has very strong views on this and cannot accept what was said," Tourism Ministry spokesman Ido Hartuv said. "We reconsidered the deal and realized that we cannot sign with Robertson or anyone who supports his views."
Personally, I have no problem with this. In fact, I admire the position of the Government of Israel - showing a willingness to stand up for principle in the face of certain financial (and political) loss.
The only question I have is why is it that the Government of Israel is only makes willing (or able) to take such a principled stance in this instance, but when it comes to, for example, making (peace) deals with the Arabs, we are willing to turn a blind eye to their continued calls for the destruction of the Jewish People and State?