The contrast between Israel and the nations is therefore essential and necessary (although it need not necessarily express itself in mutual hatred).
The Jewish People cannot be like the other nations and at the same time be itself.
In this regard, it does not matter whether the Jewish People, in being itself, wishes to keep the mitzvot or to violate them.
At all times, even at a time of casting off the yoke, the Jewish People is different.
The saying, ‘“In all your ways know Him’ – even for a matter of transgression is strangely fulfilled.
Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz