Rick Perry Celebrates Fundamentalist Middle East Martyrdom

Via Dave Weigel, Rick Perry had this to say at the Republican Jewish Coalition beauty contest:

"I have been to the Western Wall," said Perry, "that most sacred of symbols where Jewish pilgrims gather to pray today, and that has withstood the assaults on the Jewish people since the times of the early Romans. I walked in the footsteps of the heroes of Masada, a fortress of defiance symbolizing their loyalty to freedom more than life itself."

You should pardon me, but Jesus Christ. Really? We're now having candidates for the American presidency celebrating Jewish shaheeds? I've always found Masada-worship ridiculous for the simple reason that if every Jew under Roman occupation had followed the heroic path of the Masada Zealots and killed themselves and their families, well, there would be no more Jews. Anti-Semites probably love the example of the Masada martyrs. I understand the early Zionists mythologized the Zealots -- it was a combination of naive, obvious and impure reasons -- but can we please move on now?