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Jeff Jacoby has an interesting hypothesis in the Boston Globe Today:

In advance of the upcoming diplomatic conference in Annapolis, Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced the other day that he expects the Palestinian Authority to finally acknowledge Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. A newly arrived visitor from Mars might wonder why this should even be an issue — after all, Israel is a Jewish state. If the more than 55 countries that make up the Organization of the Islamic Conference are entitled to recognition as Muslim states, and if the 22 members of the Arab League are universally accepted as Arab states, why should anyone balk at acknowledging Israel as the world’s lone Jewish state? (Source Is Israel a Jewish state?)

Jacoby goes on to give all the examples of nations that say they are ruled by religious law. He goes on to say:

So why won’t the leaders of the Palestinian Authority acknowledge the obvious — that Israel is the Jewish state? The Jewish connection to Palestine is a matter not just of rich historical fact, but of international law. When the League of Nations entrusted Britain with the Mandate for Palestine in 1922, it expressly recognized “the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine” and the rightfulness of “reconstituting their national home in that country.” By that point, Britain had already transferred 80 percent of historic Palestine to Arab rule — today’s Muslim kingdom of Jordan. All that remained for a Jewish state was the residual 20 percent. But there, at least, it was clear that the Jewish community was “in Palestine as of right and not on sufferance,” as Winston Churchill underscored at the time. Eighty-five years later, that small sliver of the Middle East is home to nearly half the world’s Jews. If that isn’t a Jewish state, what is? Yet all this is beside the point. The refusal of the Palestinian Authority to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate Jewish state isn’t a denial of reality; it is a sign of their determination to change that reality. Like Arab leaders going back a century, they seek not to live in peace with the Jewish state, but in place of the Jewish state. Olmert can show up at Annapolis bearing Palestinian sovereignty on a silver platter, with half of Jerusalem thrown in for good measure. He will not walk away with peace. On the contrary: He will intensify the Arab determination to replace the world’s one Jewish state with its 23rd Arab state. The key to Arab-Israeli peace is not Palestinian statehood. It is to compel the Arab world to abandon its dream of liquidating Israel. As a matter of national self-respect, Olmert should repeat his demand that the Palestinians acknowledge Israel’s Jewish identity — and make it nonnegotiable. If Israel cannot insist even on so fundamental a point of honor, it has already lost more than it knows.

Aye Thars the Rub….That’s what the press and the politicians do not understand. The key to Arab-Israeli peace is not Palestinian statehood. It is to compel the Arab world to abandon its dream of liquidating Israel. Its so easy a Martian can understand it ! Is Israel a Jewish state?

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