It is hard to get into the mentality of those who frame foreign policy and make alliances remote from any understanding of regional cultures. Today’s events in Jerusalem do, however, offer a degree of insight into the arid minds that think they can coordinate spinning electrons at a distance.
And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic Mills?
Listening to the speeches of Jared Kushner and Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem this afternoon, it was (for me at least) hard not to be caught up in the powerful emotions of those Jews who, after 1948, built Israel from nothing….and all their progeny who have longed, decade after decade, for peace and security in their homeland.
Emotional intelligence is a very important part of being human. But without the intelligence part of Dr Jekyll, there is only the unlimited appetite of Mr Hyde. The naked triumphalism of today’s opening ceremony for the new American Embassy in Jerusalem owed far more to Hyde than Jekyll.
I have for many years been a staunch supporter of Israel’s right to exist. Given the complex nomadic wandering of Semitic tribes over three millenniums, it is impossible for anyone other than the worst kind of biased bigot to suggest that the Jewish tribes came from anywhere else but the general region of King David’s lands, after escaping the slavery they had endured under ancient Egypt. Those happy to recognise régimes based on far less evidence continue to dispute that reality.
But the reality is also that, in 1948, the founders of Israel formed a nation by largely ignoring the equally obvious claims of the Palestinian people.
The Palestinian territories have become a Satanic Mill on a scale that not even William Blake would have been able to imagine. And today, chariots of fire have led the charge to 42 utterly needless deaths.
Of course, anti-Israeli forces seek martyrs. I am on the record a thousand times as the enemy of Hamas and other propagandists who use cynical (often invented and recycled) pictures of dead children to depict the Israelis as monsters. Ultimately, they are a People simply defending what they have built.
But to use live ammunition against protesters on this day of all days was a grave error of judgement. Indeed, I would argue that to let the ceremony go ahead in the context of the consequent death toll was insensitive. Benjamin Netanyahu, however, is not known for his sensitivity.
The God-bless-this-that-and-every-other-thing speech of Jared Kushner was such a risible act of overcooked lachrymose optimism, it made my flesh creep. If course he hopes to broker a deal involving new ports for Israel’s neighbours, with the agreement of élites in Egypt and Jordan: this is the way globalist minds think. He spoke of a Jerusalem “united in the freedom of worship that has been guaranteed by the Israeli State since its inception”….and his description is fair – up to but not including the word united. Jersusalem is, like pretty much everything else in the Middle East, hopelessly divided.
Kushner’s speech was followed by Netanyahu giving full rein to his engorged ego. Riding roughshod over a semblance of peacemaking from President Trump’s son in law, he relished the opportunity to proclaim victory. He would have done well to remark the words of Winston Churchill:
“In War: Resolution,
In Defeat: Defiance,
In Victory: Magnanimity
In Peace: Good Will.”
I do not pretend to have the solution to a mess whose conception lies in the Imperial mentality of the 1925 Sykes-Piquot Agreement – later exacerbated by anti-Semitic dithering from the British in 1947.
But in terms of today’s events my comment would be, to all the parties concerned, “If I was you, I wouldn’t start from here”.