Citing what it called Pat Robertson’s “hateful and divisive rhetoric,” a Jewish Democratic group is demanding that the Bush administration cut off government grants to the evangelist’s charity, Operation Blessing.
The National Jewish Democratic Council made the plea in an online advocacy campaign launched this week, which includes a petition and links to send electronic messages to President Bush and to Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman. The NJDC cited press reports that identified Operation Blessing as receiving $14.4 million in federal funds last year.
Among the Robertson comments that the group described as objectionable were his remark that Israeli Prime Minister Sharon’s recent stroke was a punishment from God, his 2005 claim that the federal judiciary is a greater threat to the country than “a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings” and his call for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Robertson was a 1988 candidate for the GOP presidential nomination.