Palin – Massive Gaffe – Calls Israeli Embassy ‘Jewish Agency’October 27, 2008
Sarah Palin apparently doesn’t understand a couple of very basic concepts about Israel. It is not a Jewish state, no more so than Canada or Britain are Christian states. Israel is a secular government, just like the one here in the United States. Jewish isn’t a nationality, and Israel is not ‘Jewish’. This is such a very basic concept that I can’t even begin to fathom the depth of her ignorance.
Perhaps in the church where people speak in tongues, the congregants speak of the quickly approaching end times, and the certainty of dinosaurs and man living at the same time right after the earth was created (a mere 6,000 years ago) this type of thinking is encouraged. These radical evangelicals spout nonsense about Antichrists and demons, witches and angels, all the while claiming a false appreciation for Israel, contrived from the mistaken conception that the ‘apocolypse’ is coming any day now. They feign their friendship because Israel controls the ‘Holy’ land, and these radical, far right Christians need to imagine having access to that area.
As foreign relations gaffes go, this would be on par with calling up the Archbishop of Canterbury to negotiate a treaty between Britain and the US. It’s just that idiotic. What could her reaction be when she’s told that Israel is not a ‘Jewish’ state?
“Oh, gosh golly, you must be mistaken there fella, I know fer certain that those people wear those beanies!”
To say, direct to the face of the Israeli Ambassador, “We look forward to … working with your Jewish agency,” is not only an affront to Israel, it’s an affront to all of those knowledgeable potential running mates of John McCain. To think that Sarah Palin, a governor embroiled in an ethics probe, completely lacking any understanding of the Bush Doctrine (the driving philosophical force behind this administration’s foreign relations), and closely connected to a secessionist group would be picked over…well, anyone, is unbelievable. But this–this very basic mistake of Sarah Palin’s may be the most telling. Israel isn’t a nation to her, it’s a religion.
Edit: There is a misconception among some because of the statement “Hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in the land of Israel to be known as the State of Israel.” in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel. Israel, however, has universal suffrage, and is not theocratic. This precludes the language appearing in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, in that it is the law of the land, and is direct contradiction to the previous statement. It is much like the United States being considered a nation that has legal slavery, even though the practice is now unconstitutional.
Another case made for Israel being a Jewish nation is contained within the Balfour Declaration, which is just silliness.Israel does not even have a state religion, negating the concept of ‘Jewish State’ referring to the religion, but rather pointing to a cultural usage of ‘Jewish’.
According to Daniel Elazar, of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs:
As understood by the Knesset and the Israeli Supreme Court, religious law stands in relationship to the secular law of Israel roughly as state law stands in relationship to federal law in a federation with a dual legal system. That is to say, it is distinct, tends to be exclusive in its sphere, but is held to certain national tests in its application…
It is important to understand that the government of Israel does not control or try to control the religious establishment…