“This year, with God's help,” writes Feiglin, an orthodox, native-born Israeli, “there will be more Jews in Israel than anywhere else in the world. This is a sea change in the state of the Jewish nation and the first time since the First Temple era that the majority of Jews has resided in Israel. This summer we start the countdown to the end of the exile.”

Unfortunately, though, it is also the worst of times. Anti-Semitism is exploding all over the world. The State of Israel is rapidly losing the legitimacy for its very existence. “Simply put,” Feiglin says, “our successful state has turned into a pirate ship. Ahmadinejad can fly wherever he wants, while Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon dares not land in Europe. It is now fashionable in academia to talk about the day after the destruction of the State of Israel.”

Should there be a Jewish state? commentator Daniel Pipes asks in National Review Online. That is the central question. It does not help anyone to distract from it.

It was long assumed that the Egypt-Israel peace treaty of 1979 would end Arab-Israeli conflict, but it had the perverse effect of making other states and also the Egyptian populace more anti-Zionist, Pipes writes. Then in the 1980s Palestinian recognition of Israel gave birth to a hope that the conflict would close. The total failure of the 1993 Oslo Accords buried that expectation.

“What now?” he asks. “Starting about 2007, a new focus emerged: winning acceptance of Israel as a sovereign Jewish state.”

Palestinian leaders responded with howls of outrage, declaring that they “absolutely refused” to accept Israel as a Jewish state. “On taking over the prime ministry in early 2009, Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated [Ehud] Olmert’s point in his diplomacy. Regrettably, the Obama administration endorsed the Palestinian position, again sidelining the Israeli demand.”

It would seem to a distant (Buddhist) outsider here in New Hampshire that a race of people so tenacious that it would survive Romans and Pharaohs, a thousand plagues and curses and, after that Hitler and Stalin, that Hillary and Bono would be a cakewalk. But Israel is threatened today not by bombs and pogroms, but by a vague, globalist ideology and a makeshift rock ‘n’ roll utopianism that seems cobbled together at Starbucks after a late night.

War changes people, but the Clintons and Obama seem much the same as they were before 9/11 and five years of war in the Middle East. But we will want to know, How do Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, George Pataki, Rick Perry and any others who might seek the Oval Office in 2012 feel about Israel as a Jewish state?

Visit Mr. Quigley's website at http://quigleyblog.blogspot.com.