I don't buy "biblical inerrancy," the strange notion that every word in the bible is the literal Word of God. The Bible, whatever else it may be, is a book written by a bunch of very mortal human beings a long, long time ago reflecting a very early understanding of the world and deities.
In his book American Fascists, Chris Hedges utterly dismantles the notion of biblical inerrancy as patently false given the numerous contradictions in its text and something we only chose to rely on when it suits us:
A literal reading of the Bible means re institution of slavery coupled with the understanding that the slavemaster has the right to beat his slave without mercy since "the slave is his money" (Exodus 21:21). Children who strike or curse a parent are to be executed (Exodus 21:15, 17). Those who pay homage to another god "shall be utterly destroyed" (Exodus 22:20). Menstruating women are to be considered unclean, and all they touch while menstruating becomes unclean (Leviticus 15:19-32). The blind, the lame, those with mutilated faces, those who are hunchbacks or dwarfs and those with itching diseases or scabs or crushed testicles cannot become priests (Leviticus 24:16). And "if the spirit of jealousy" comes upon a man, the high priest can order the jealous man's wife to drink "the water of bitterness." If she dies, it is proof of her guilt; if she survives, of her innocence (Numbers 5:11-31). Women, throughout the Bible, are subservient to men, often without legal rights, and men are free to sell their daughters into sexual bondage (Exodus 21:7-11).
But one little bit of lunacy we cling to in modern geopolitics is the fantastic notion that God bequeathed the "land of Israel" to the Israelites in perpetuity. If you believe that (and so many do) you should rush home, put your wife in her place, sell your daughters, beat your slaves and execute that pesky kid who won't get off the X-Box.
This little fantasy got a free ride during the Bush-era, the Era of Darkness, but it's turning into jello now that Obama has taken the reins. Asia Times Online reports that storm clouds are gathering between the US and Israel:
Iran, with which President Barack Obama has pledged to engage in a "constructive dialogue", and the future of its nuclear program will no doubt be the greatest source of tension between the two allies. The new president's commitment to achieving real progress on a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict may also provoke serious friction. This will particularly be the case should a reunified Arab League launch a major new push for the adoption of its 2002 peace plan, which provides for Arab recognition of Israel in return for the latter's withdrawal from all occupied Arab lands.
Last week's election produced a clear majority for right-wing parties led by the Likud Party of former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has repeatedly declared his opposition to a settlement freeze, territorial concessions and the creation of a viable Palestinian state.
Obama and his Middle East Special Envoy George Mitchell may indeed be willing to exert pressure on Israel - among other things, by tabling their own views about a final peace agreement and how precisely it might be achieved - especially if ongoing Arab efforts to reconcile Hamas and Fatah in a new coalition government succeed.
If all goes well on that front, the Arab League, fortified by a developing rapprochement between Syria and Saudi Arabia, could announce the latest version of its 2002 peace plan at next month's summit in Doha, according to Marc Lynch, a George Washington University specialist on Arab politics.
"If you have a unified Palestinian government and a unified Arab move for peace," added Daniel Levy, a former Israeli peace negotiator, "then it's much more likely that Obama will step up his own efforts - ideally, working with an Israeli government that's ready to go along with a serious peace process, but, if not, being willing to make his disagreement [with that government] known."
The result could be a serious test between the next Israeli government and its influential US advocates. The Obama administration clearly believes that real progress toward resolving the 60-year-old conflict is critical both to restoring Washington's credibility among the Arab states and curbing the further radicalization of the region's population - particularly in the wake of Israel's recent military offensive in Gaza.