Looks like Jazz is horning in on my angle of talking about Jews and Israel. No worries, there's plenty of room in the opinion lounge on this one.
As I am personally Jewish, I already have my opinions worked out on these subjects; I've had my whole life to think about them. I feel that Judaism is a religion, and that ethnicity is separate. I am an American woman of Russian descent. Actually, my family is from Belarus (father's side), Ukraine (maternal grandfather), and Lithuania (maternal grandmother), but I prefer to lump them in with the Russians because I'm callous about my own roots. Say bad things about me if you feel the need to.
Be that as it may, I also feel that Israel is a Jewish State. It was founded to be a (divided) homeland for Jews and "Palestinians" (I'm still not sure exactly what makes a Palestinian). The government is set up around Jewish and non-Jewish rights. Everybody gets all the Jewish holidays off. A whole bunch of the country closes down from sundown Friday night to sundown Saturday night. The official religion is Judaism. And it's not against some "rules of the world" that no one could have ever written.
Why in the world would Saeb Erekat, the senior Palestinian Authority negotiator, say, "...it is not acceptable for a country to link its national character to a specific religion."? Seriously? This guy believes that?
Most countries were not founded without religious identity, although we know that the U.S. was. Even then, it was only formed as a secular nation because the Puritans were persecuted in England for being weird and stodgy and way too harsh. I mean, seriously, these people were the ones who were "famous for banning from their New England colonies many secular entertainments, such as games of chance, maypoles, and drama, all of which were perceived as kinds of immorality." So they braved the Atlantic Ocean hoping to establish tolerance for their ways.
There are secular nations in the world today, such as Canada, France, Turkey, United States, but certainly even they were not all formed as secular nations. France particularly has had a strong Catholic identity during the years of its monarchy, and was recognized as Catholic country.
The phrase, again, was, "...it is not acceptable for a country to link its national character to a specific religion.". Let me see this guy say that to the Pope's face in Vatican City.
No, countries do not have to link their national character to a specific religion, but many of them absolutely DO. They do, and it is completely acceptable. It is, after all, their country.
The guise of religious tolerance from a man whose group affiliation has represented such blatant and obvious religious intolerance for so long is a giant hypocritical slap in the face.
Just go ahead and change your statement to "...it is not acceptable for a country to link its national character to Judaism." So we can see your real stripes, you anti-Jewish bastard.