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Holy Campaign Trail?
Pat Robertson In '88
BY JOSEPH AARON
Special to The Jewish News
When Pat Robertson talks,
what people who listen hear is a
combination Menachem Begin,
Billy Graham and presidential
candidate all rolled up into one.
And while there's no chance
he's one of the first two, there's
more than a good chance that he'll
be the third. Though he's not go-
ing that far, yet.
"Am I serious about running in
1988? Absolutely. I've been ap-
proached by thousands of people
around the United States urging
me to get involved. I just might."
Robertson said he won't make
a final decision until the fall of
1987. For now, he's touring the
country, looking to upcoming
primaries and listening. Especial-
ly to Jews, who play a large part
in supporting campaigns.. What
he's been hearing, he said, "is that
many of my Jewish friends would
like me to go for it, would like to
see a good friend of Israel involved.
They want me to run because they
know my views."
And, in fact, it's hard to imag-
ine any candidate, or anyone for
that•matter, with views more pro-
Israel than Robertson, who as an
Evangelical minister, discusses
them loudly, clearly and often on
his nationally-broadcast TV pro-
gram, 'The 700 Club.'
Robertson's strong pro-Israel
stance began, he said, back on
Christmas night, 1974, when he
was in Jerusalem. "I was standing
looking down at the city and
thought that it had been a year
since the oil embargo was put in-
to place and a year that Israel had
been standing alone in the world
because people were putting expe-
diency over principle.
"And so I said before the Lord,
I swore an oath that whatever
happened, however difficult it
might be, however unpopular it
might be, personally and organiza-
tionally, I was going to stand by
Israel and the Jewish people no
And so he has, travelling to
Israel 15 times since, setting up
a broadcast operation in the nor-
thern Israeli town of Kiryat
Shemona to "act as a messenger
of peace and love in a troubled
part of the world" by bringing un-
biased news to Arab viewers, and
speaking strongly and publicly in
support of Israel.
Robertson never wavered in his
support of Israel's involvement in
the War in Lebanon and isn't
wavering in his support of the
need for Israel never to give back
any of its land to the Arabs.
"You fly over Israel and'you see
this incredible little strip of land
and you realize there is no way •
Israel is ever going to give back
the West Bank to anybody. It
can't afford to. You get up to the
Golan Heights and realize that
Syria rained down death and
destruction over the Galilee and
you know it can never give that
back. Israel would have to be in-
sane. And you see that the only
natural border of Israel is the Jor-
dan River. There's no way you can
set up an independent Palestinian
entity in Israel's heartland. And
it's certainly never going to be
possible for Jerusalem to be di-
vided again. Jerusalem is the
capital of Israel. It was the capital
under King David, under King
Solomon, it has been historically
and will be forever the capital of
Israel. It's time the U.S. govern-
ment recognized that and moved
our embassy there."
That's a show of American sup-
port that Israel deserves, he said.
He says his love of
Israel should make
his political effort
Selling arms to the Arabs, how-
ever, is not a show of support they
deserve. "There is no way we can
sell high-performance aircraft to
Jordan or Saudi Arabia. To do so
would be to imperil the security of
Israel. All it would do is escalate
the arms race, hurt our friend and
destabilize the area."
That's something we learned
once, the hard way, Robertson
said. "We thought the Shah was
a close friend of ours and so we
armed him to the teeth. Now his
weapons are being used by a mad-
man. We gave arms to a govern-
ment we thought was stable and
it was overthrown. The Shah was
infinitely more stable than the
House of Saud. There is a real
possibility that those arms would
be taken over by agents of the
Shah. Any sophisticated weapons
we sell them could end up being
used against Israel."
Not what we want, said Robert-
son, because "the only thing that
keeps stability in the Middle East •
is the clear superiority of the
Armed Forces. Israel is the only
stable government in the area.
She is' ur ally and we must stand
Just as Evangelical Christians
must stand with Jews. "We have
a deep-seated understanding that
the God of Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob is also the God of Jesus,
Paul and Peter. A woman once
said to me that she didn't under-.
stand why I employed her son as
my corporate attorney. 'We're
Jewish, you know,' she said. I told
her, 'My boss is Jewish.'
"Jesus was a Jewish rabbi and
whether you believe he was the
son of God or a great teacher, he's'
Jewish. All the key figures of
Christianity were Jews. It's not a
question of the separation of
Christians and Jews but a con-
tinuation of Judaism. We feel a
tremendous drawing together of
us and our Jewish friends."