November 11, 2002
Pat Robertson forms alliance with mayor of Jerusalem
___JERUSALEM (RNS)--Evangelist Pat Robertson is joining with Jerusalem's hardline mayor, Ehud Olmert, to mount a massive campaign of evangelical Christian fund-raising, prayer and tourism to Jerusalem.
___The Oct. 11 Solidarity With Israel rally in Washington, organized by Robertson's Christian Coalition, is just one element in a broader program called "Praying for Jerusalem."
___The campaign aims to recruit 1 million Christians in 100,000 evangelical churches for a mass prayer for Jerusalem, as well as to promote Christian tourism and purchase of Israeli products.
___It also includes raising money from Christians for a Jerusalem non-profit organization called the New Jerusalem Fund.
___Olmert, Robertson and another leading U.S. evangelist, Mike Evans, will jointly co-chair the "Praying for Jerusalem" campaign.
___Robertson recently created controversy after telling Fox Television News the prophet Mohammed was a "killer ... an absolute wild-eyed fanatic ... a robber and a brigand."
___When asked why the mayor of Jerusalem, which is also home to 160,000 Arab residents, had enlisted Robertson in the fund-raising effort, a spokesman for the "Praying for Jerusalem" campaign denied knowing anything about his slurs on Islam.
___"Pat Robertson was recruited to pray for Jerusalem. As to other issues, I don't think anyone checked his opinions of other things," said spokesman Rivka Shraga.
___For Olmert, the campaign is likely to serve as a highly effective money-raising mechanism for his New Jerusalem Fund, which supports neighborhood cultural and urban improvement projects through donations from overseas.
___The New Jerusalem Fund was established by Olmert to answer the Jerusalem Foundation, set up by the left-wing former Mayor Teddy Kollek.
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