It’s with a rising sense of trepidation that I have been watching a continued expansion of the calls for the Palestinian Authority to recognise Israel as a Jewish State. Instead of cruising towards peace and talking about the genuine issues involved our Prime minister has invented a roadblock to peace out of thin air.

What both surprises and disappoints me is the amount of Israelis who go along with this nonsense. Suddenly, without it ever having been an issue before, everyone has gotten on board with the absolute necessity for the Palestinians to recognise Israel as Jewish. It has gotten to the point where President Peres himself has had to intervene to negate the damage this wordplay is doing. Of course the Prime Minister calls this a “basic demand”.

Are we really so insecure a nation that we have to force other people to “recognise” our religion? We’re supposed to be a regional superpower, we are supposed to be the new Jews, strong and confident and powerful not petty and obsessed with the way others view us. Why does it matter to us what religion the PA views Israel as? What matters is how we view ourselves.

Did anyone notice that the PA didn’t demand that Bibi recognise a Palestinian state as Muslim? For that matter did we ask Jordan or Egypt to recognise Israel as a Jewish state? Did they demand that Israel recognise them as Muslim countries? Of course they didn’t and why would they?

The reason we’re in thsi mess is not because we need the Palestinians to recognise Israel as a Jewish state. It’s because the Likud is against a Palestinian state and the USA is strongly pressing for one. The Prime Minister needed to invent a way to force the PA away from the negotiating table and so we have this. He negotiates peace while making sure it will never happen.

If Abbas and the PA had any sense they would call Bibi’s bluff, hold their breath and perform this act of ritual humiliation, but then no one said they were interested in making progress either. One would have thought that a pledge to prevent terror would have been higher up on the list of demands. And by the way, does anyone actually know what a Jewish state is?

Like the parents who are so busy arguing with one another over custody that they forget about their children completely so Netanyahu and Abbas have hung Israelis and Palestinians alike out to dry while they continue their senseless bickering over nothing more substantial than semantics.