Dismissing uncomprehended perspectives as “ridiculous” or “nonsens[ical]” is itself ridiculous and somewhat worse than nonsensical, the habit of a vulgar ideologue. Similarly, applying some astrophysical indicator to the concept of “eternity” is a classically sophomoric gesture. In referring to an “eternal alliance” in Israel today, the President was utilizing a theological concept of the eternal. At the same time that he was “reframing the Israel-Palestine conflict” with a view to the so-called peace process, he was implicitly referencing the roots of Americanism, the roots of liberal-democratic national self-determination as specifically represented both in the project of the state of Israel and the demand for a Palestinian state, and the roots of secular modernity generally in monotheistic universalism: in other words the ideas and real history that define and constitute commonly held values and self-concepts. An inability or refusal to understand or, to whatever extent understanding fails, suspend judgment, ought to be disqualifying for a would-be commentator, or, if you prefer, taken as merely ridiculous and possibly somewhat worse than nonsensical. Anti-Americanist conservatives, libertarians, leftists, and others may prefer or presume to locate their eternities elsewhere and under other names, but the notion that we could not fully abandon Israel without abandoning ourselves, and that in this sense our fates are tied together in the eternity of transcendent identities, is only as nonsensical as any other belief for which people may live, kill, or die. If that notion is merely nonsensical, what would not be?