88759a37325b62074c0f6a7067009316Is Israel “the Jewish state”? The answer may seem as obvious as the Star of David on the Israeli flag. Yet the question is starting to complicate the ambitious U.S. effort to ram through a peace deal between the Palestinians and Israel. A broad-based group of Israelis plans to lobby the Knesset to declare the country, for the first time, a Jewish state by law. And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has demanded that the Palestinians recognize Israel’s Jewish status explicitly as part of any agreement. “This is the Jewish land. This is the Jewish state,” he said in a speech this week to assembled U.S. Jewish leaders. “When we make an agreement it is an agreement between the nation state of the Jewish people and a nation state of the Palestinian people.” Leading Palestinians made their opposition clear this week, insisting that by introducing the Jewish factor, Israel is drawing a red line that could doom negotiations. More