“no state in the world connects its national identity to a religious identity”

This rather remarkable piece of news was delivered by Saeb Erekat, who is the Palestinian’s chief negotiator with Israel. According to this article in Ha’aretz, Erekat “rejected on Monday the [Israeli] government’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.”

This is when he claimed that “no state in the world connects its national identity to a religious identity.” For Israel, according to Ha’aretz, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that the starting point for all negotiations with the Palestinians will be the “recognition of Israel as a state for the Jewish people.” This should be a statement of the obvious; some folks are really slow learners.

The Paleo is confused, of course. Which is the kind way of saying he is an outright liar, or stupid. Perhaps both. Perhaps he hadn’t heard of the Islamic Republic of Iran? Or that cheerful little redoubt of Islamic love, Saudi Arabia? See a connection there, Erekat, baby? And, yes, there is a rather special connection between Israel and its “religious identity.”

The state of Israel was promised to the Jews, by God. One should not need to be a tithing dispensationalist to respect modern Israel as a (partial) fulfillment of prophecy. That is, a modern Israel that is first and foremost a Jewish state.

There are dozens of states that are officially Muslim, or whose populations are predominantly Muslim. Why should anyone care if there is a single, small, Jewish state in the world? The answers should be obvious, but I would be uncharitable to state them. Suffice to say that Muslims have already denied God’s revelation to mankind in ways that are pagan and that specifically deny Christ.

In the end times, I expect that the Jewish people, with whom God never broke his covenant, will return to the fold by claiming one of their own, Jesus, as Lord and Savior. Something that individual Muslims may do, and which I pray they will do, but which has no more to do with their religion than, say, a tree-worshiper who sees the Light.

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