Sunday 26 December 2010


Peter Hitchens writes:

Evidence piles up that Britain has secretly recognised a Palestinian State, to please the Arab world. Careful readers of the list of newly commissioned officers from Sandhurst will find among those who ‘passed with a view to being commissioned into the armed forces of their countries’ (the official wording) two cadets destined for the as yet non-existent army of an as yet non-existent ‘Palestine’.

A few weeks ago, the Foreign Office told me that a Press notice from our Jerusalem consulate, describing William Hague’s ‘first visit’ to this ‘country’, was a mistake. They refused to say if anyone had been reprimanded for it. Our national duplicity in this part of the world knows no bounds, but if there is a War Against Terror, which side is the dodgy Ramallah regime on?

Jolly good.

Of course there is a global war, not on terror, but of terror: terror against Christians by the Israeli Government of, as the sign of the Israel to come, secular ultranationalists and the sort of Haredim who believe that Gentiles are created only as beasts of burden; and terror against Christians by that Government's allies and clients, not least in the Islamic world. We removed Saddam Hussein in order to flood Iraq with jihadis, the easier to shoot at them. At least, that was the idea. The Christians were the bait in this Straussian game of cat and mouse, which should come as no surprise to anyone, since Israeli-client America and her little helpers are always friendliest towards the most anti-Christian regimes in the Middle East (Israel, Turkey, Egypt, the Gulf monarchs, what Iraq has become) against those most inclusive of Christians (Iran, Syria, Lebanon, the two parts of Palestine on either side of the Jordan, what Iraq used to be).

The Levant remained a bulwark against Islamist expansionism while it remained a civilisation of Christians, Muslims, Jews and Druze, with Arabic as its lingua franca and with its de facto capital at Damascus. But a dreadful wound was inflicted on it in 1948, from which it has still begun to recover hardly, if at all. The Holy Land – Latin Catholic and Greek Orthodox, Melkite and Maronite, Syrian and Armenian, Anglican and Lutheran – founded, and continues to give considerable support to, the Popular and Democratic Fronts for the Liberation of Palestine, whatever else one might think of those organisations.

In Palestine east of the Jordan, Christians already enjoy reserved parliamentary representation. Lebanese Catholics and Orthodox pray for the success of Hezbollah, which is allied to several of their own political parties, and which is instrumental in restoring Beirut's historic synagogue. The other side in Lebanon, favoured by Israel and the neoconservatives, is funded by Saudi Arabia, which says all that needs to be said. Syria, with Christian-majority provinces and with Christian festivals as public holidays, and Iran, with reserved parliamentary representation for Armenians and Assyrians? Or the leader among the despotic, backward, misogynistic, Jew-hating and anti-Christian regimes that are demanding an American nuclear attack against the Iranian emerging democracy with its high culture, its more women than men at university, and its reserved parliamentary representation for Jews?

So, here's hoping that any Palestinian Declaration of Independence will explicitly lay claim to the whole of the viable Palestinian State created on both sides of the Jordan in 1948. Here's hoping that, mirroring Lebanon, it will guarantee the Presidency to a Christian while guaranteeing the Premiership to a Muslim, as would in the latter case have happened electorally anyway.

And here's hoping that it will place the new state under the protection, both of each and all of the remaining sacral monarchies, there being no other kind, in the Dar al-Islam (other than the one in Palestine east of the Jordan, perhaps), and of each and all of those in Christendom. As much as anything else, that would make the protection of Palestine a unifying force among the Christian and the Muslim traditional leaders still recognized at local level in several countries of Africa, where relations between Christians and Muslims are not currently at their best.

Lest we forget, 18 of the monarchs of Christendom – of Antigua and Barbuda, of Australia, of The Bahamas, of Barbados, of Belize, of Canada, of the Cook Islands, of Grenada, of Jamaica, of New Zealand, of Papua New Guinea, of Saint Kitts and Nevis, of Saint Lucia, of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, of the Solomon Islands, of Tuvalu, of the United Kingdom, and the Paramount Chief of the Great Council of Chiefs of Fiji – are the same person.

Furthermore, any appeal to any and every country that regarded either or both of Islam and Christianity as fundamental to its identity, especially if such an appeal appeared over the names of Catholic and Orthodox hierarchs as such (from the very Holy Land, no less), as well as of their East Coast elite-friendly Anglican and their Midwestern-friendly Lutheran counterparts, would place the American Republic and its Republican Party in a very difficult position indeed: is that Republic a product of the Revolution after all, or is it, since 1776 came before 1789, an expression of the pre-existing republican traditions of Catholic and Protestant Europe, as such?

Of course, as I keep being told, Jordan is Palestine: the entirely viable state created on both sides of the Jordan in 1948. "Why would anyone design Jordan as currently constituted?" No one ever did.


  1. David Lindsay: the man, the legend, the Christian Middle East's preeminent friend in the West, the Mossad Martyr of the Daily Telavivagraph.