The GOP And “Biblical Israel”

Andrew Sullivan —  Jan 6 2012 @ 10:39am

Both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum believe in Greater Israel, the non-existence of a Palestinian people, the permanent annexation of the occupied territories, and a war of aggression against Iran because it wants some kind of nuclear deterrent to Israel's 300 or so nuclear warheads. And in a sign of this radical development, you can begin to see more arguments on the right for an explicitly religious fusion of Judaism and evangelical Christianity in creating a permanent fusion of the US and Israel as religiously defined nation-states.

This Barbara Lerner piece in National Review is really quite something. Two things stand out for me: It explicitly makes religious, Biblical arguments for Greater Israel, and it has no reference to what to do with all those Palestinians who are made de facto non-citizens in Greater Israel. But it seems pretty obvious that equal rights for non-Jews in all of Greater Israel would end the exclusively Jewish nature of the state. So they must either exist in enclaves of disenfranchisement – having less electoral clout in Israel than slaves did in the ante-bellum South – or be cleansed from the scene entirely.

Which is it? You will also notice there is scant attention paid to what this position – essentially isolating the US from everyone else on the planet and rendering a complete end to any relationship with the Arab or Muslim world – would do to the interests of the US. Because the interests of the US are not part of this equation. Religion is.

Mercifully, the commenters are aware just how extremist this piece is. My favorite one:

Red herrings about our country's religious heritage aside, there is absolutely nothing conservative about attempting to ground our adjudication of a modern territorial dispute in terms of Scripture.