For a few days I’ve been meditating on Sarah Palin’s remark to Barbara Walters, explaining why she opposes the Obama administration’s opposition to expansion of Israeli settlements on the West Bank. It’s because, according to Palin, “more and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead.”
This has struck various people as emerging from Palin’s pre-millennialist religious roots, and I’m inclined to agree. The idea of us Jewish people flocking to Israel in the immediate future is so completely unsupported by empirical evidence that it can only have descended from the cloud-land of eschatological expectation that Palin (once?) inhabited.
In light of this, it made sense for the Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg to seek enlightenment from the executive director of Liberty University’s Pre-Trib Research Center, Dr. Thomas Ice. Said Ice:
I’ve read that Palin has been part of an apparently unique movement
I’ve heard of — that her pastor, when she was in the Assembly of God,
believed based on some personal revelation he claims to have gotten
from God, that the Jews would move to Alaska during the Tribulation.
But nevertheless, my understanding from what I’ve seen is that she
holds fairly typical Protestant Zionist beliefs, and one of those
beliefs is the regathering of the Jews in Israel.
I guess I had missed that first part, and it put me in mind of Michael Chabon’s counterfactual historical novel, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, about a post-World War II world in which the state of Israel doesn’t succeed and Eastern European Jewish survivors are settled in Sitka, Alaska. The novel itself ends (not-very-successfully) on an eschatological note. So maybe we first flock to Alaska to ride out the Tribulation, then proceed with all deliberate speed to the Holy Land in time to convert for the Final Judgment. Hey, anyone know of a Post-Trib Research Center?
Update: On Palin qua Post-Tribulationist, see Rachel Tabachnick’s piece over on Talk To Action.