Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Back to Opinion

Palin’s Unsettling Views

What passes for punditry these days says that Sarah Palin must be taken seriously, not just as a potential talk-show host but a potential presidential candidate. We’re trying. So rather than dismiss her mystifying views on the expansion of Jewish settlements, we sought to understand them.

“I disagree with the Obama administration on that,” she told Barbara Walters recently. Okay. Reasonable people can disagree on whether President Obama has been too forceful (or not forceful enough) in persuading Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to live up to Israel’s agreement to halt settlement expansion in the West Bank.

But when Palin said that settlements should be “expanded upon” because “that population of Israel is, is going to grow,” we looked up. And when she cited, as fact, something that only those who promote aliyah could hope for — “More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead” — we were left scratching our heads.

Until we came upon Jeffrey Goldberg’s fascinating blog post in which he argues that Palin’s logic conforms to the belief that Jews will flock to Israel to establish the conditions for what some Christians predict will herald the Second Coming. First, will be the ingathering of Jews. Next, Satan will attempt to stop their conversion. Then, Jesus will rescue the Jews and a new world will be born.

We see. And now we are left to wonder how Netanyahu’s announcement of a 10-month settlement freeze fits into the dangerous worldview of someone who employs a radical reading of Scripture to formulate foreign policy.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.