FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) – Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson expressed his unwavering support for Israel during a speech at a synagogue here Sunday.

But the appearance by the often controversial host of “The 700 Club” drew protesters who said Jews should be wary of aligning themselves with Robertson and the Christian right.

About 100 people gathered inside Framingham’s Temple Beth Shalom to hear the former Republican presidential candidate speak about Evangelical Christians and their support for Israel.

“This is a commitment of deep spiritual meaning,” Robertson said. “We feel that we are part of the heritage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

The religious right has traditionally backed Israel. But Robertson has angered many people by referring to Islam as a religion that promotes violence.

Outside, a dozen protesters carried signs with slogans like “Jews saying no to the Christian right,” and “Robertson is no friend to the Jewish people.”

“The Christian right’s idea of family values, women’s rights and treatment of homosexuals are all views that the mainstream Jewish community have historically opposed,” said protester Marty Federman. “These views make an alliance with Robertson and his followers unacceptable, dangerous and counter to our real interests.”

Organizers of the event defended their decision to feature Robertson as part of the Adult Education Committee’s speakers series.

“Whether you agree with him or disagree with him on any topic, I’m for open debate as long as it remains civil,” said Temple Beth Shalom’s Rabbi Gary Greene.


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