Buckingham Palace. Photo: Wiki Commons.
Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 66th year of reign in 2018, which by any standards is an extraordinarily long time for a single individual to be a head of state. (By comparison, King David is said to have reigned for 40 years, and Queen Victoria — comfortably overtaken now by Elizabeth –managed 64.)
Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any current ruler who has remained in place throughout the Cold War and beyond. In that sense, historians will have a grand second Elizabethan era to pour through, one so lengthy that those things that were features of the first half of her reign — ration books, royal family struggles with the Church of England, a snarling punk ditty by the Sex Pistols that rhymed “queen” with “fascist regime” — were misty memories by the time it came to its close in the age of social media.
But for all the momentous historic changes that Elizabeth witnessed from her vantage points at Buckingham Palace, Windsor and Balmoral — changes that were often blessed with royal visits, high honors, state banquets and so forth — one country went stubbornly unacknowledged: Israel.
Now that Elizabeth’s grandson, Prince William, has announced a first-ever visit by a British royal to Israel, in addition to Jordan and the “Occupied Palestinian Territories,” it is perhaps time to reflect on the relationship, or absence of one, between the House of Windsor and the Jewish nation.
In discussions of international affairs, it has become commonplace for Western observers to view Russia as a declining power, destined…
Part of the delight around William’s impending visit stems from the fact that few people see the royal family as a political entity anymore; getting a visit from a Windsor, the son of the iconic Princess Diana no less, is a moment for one’s national pride to swell in the glow of royal approval. When Elizabeth visited post-Communist Lithuania in 2006, the BBC reported on the cheering crowds in the capital, Vilnius, waving their own flag alongside the Union Jack. One might imagine that Israelis, having emerged from a similar history of turbulence, would have appreciated a similar opportunity.
The point, however, is not simply that the Queen made Lithuanians feel good about themselves. In a speech to the Lithuanian parliament, she saluted all the Baltic nations in explicitly political terms. “You have emerged from the shadow of the Soviet Union and blossomed as sovereign states, taking up your rightful places in the international community and as respected members of the European Union and NATO,” she remarked. “It is a transformation — political, economic and social — for which there are few parallels in the history of Europe.”
Words like these could have been heard in the Knesset in Jerusalem. They should have been. But as far as the Queen and her close relatives were concerned — including her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, whose mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, saved Greek Jews from the Nazis and is interred on Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives — Israel may as well have not existed.
To entirely pin the blame for this unsettling indifference towards Israel on the Arabists at the British Foreign Office, who have been in a state of penance ever since the Balfour Declaration of 1917, would do Elizabeth a great disservice. True, unlike her forebears, her divine right to rule has been severely tempered by the more modern rule of law. But that manifestly does not mean she is a plaything of the British government, blissfully unaware of the soft power and international legitimacy that a royal visit grants.
The bald fact remains, then, that a monarch who was crowned when the wounds of the Holocaust were still fresh, who witnessed at least three attempts by Arab states to eliminate the Jewish state and who always maintained a cordial relationship with Britain’s Jewish community, never asserted the importance of a visit to the land where Christianity was born.
Yet she made her way to Germany in 1965, at a time when most Britons could still remember the Luftwaffe’s decimation of cities like Manchester, Coventry and London. Most of the Middle East’s autocracies — Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Qatar, Iran under the Shah, Turkey — received a visit, too. There are few major democracies or Western allies that have not received one.
It beggars belief that the shrewd Elizabeth has not herself recognized this anomaly, and for whatever reason, has willingly complied with a stance of pretending that Israel doesn’t exist. Even if one could make a realist case that a visit to Israel during the mid-1970s would have been unwise in the face of the Arab oil weapon, what held the royals back in the comparatively more peaceful times of the late 1990s? When Arab leaders and the leaders of Israel’s former Communist enemies can and have made the trip, why has Elizabeth not done so?
Perhaps we shall discover the reason in a diary fragment that emerges in future years. Or perhaps it will always remain an odd secret that will be largely forgotten a decade from now. Because at that point, if all goes to plan and barring a scientific miracle, the Queen will have been replaced by King Charles III. Prince Charles, you see, and not William, is Elizabeth’s direct heir, and coincidentally, has never paid an official visit to Israel either.
William will, I am sure, say most of what needs to be said when he arrives in Israel in May. But as you listen to him, do remember that his grandmother should have said exactly the same a long time ago.
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Mar 13, 2018 0
Protesters rally against Turkey’s attacks on Kurds and others in Afrin, at the White House on January 26, 2018. (Shutterstock)
Armed Syrian militias allied with Turkey have reportedly been demanding that Kurdish Christians in Afrin province convert to Islam or face execution. In a video circulated by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a militia fighter described the Kurds as “infidels” and offered them a choice between converting to Islam or facing decapitation.
“By Allah, if you repent and come back to Allah, then know that you are our brothers,” said the man. “But if you refuse, then we see.”
Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Iraqi Archbishop Bashar Warda made the following observation during a recent speech: “Having faced for 1,400 years the slow-motion genocide that began long before the ongoing ISIS genocide today, the time for excusing this inhuman behavior and its causes is long since passed.”
That Muslims have cleansed non-Muslim peoples by the sword since the seventh century to the present is of course factually well-documented. But what of the more subtle “slow-motion genocide”? How does that work? The answer is connected to another question: Why did so many non-Muslims become Muslim in the first place?
Many modern day Muslims and Western apologists claim that the ancestors of today’s 1.5 billion Muslims converted to Islam due to its intrinsic appeal; that the modern day coercion and persecution committed by the Islamic State and others is an aberration.
Conversely, many Muslim and non-Muslim historical records make clear that most people embraced Islam, not out of sincere faith, but for a myriad of reasons—from converting in order to enjoy the boons of being on the “winning team” to converting in order to evade the dooms of being on the “losing team.”
A high-ranking defense official revealed to the Senate on Tuesday that Iran has fully incorporated a Russian long-range anti-aircraft missile system into its military, seriously upgrading its ability to threaten the US and Israeli military interests in the region. But the general’s report failed to take into account divine intervention which has plagued the system in the past.
Lieutenant General Robert P. Ashley, Jr., Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday about Iran’s “generational improvement in capabilities,” according to Bloomberg News.
Despite evidence of a serious deterioration in relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel, one researcher contends that Israeli Arabs continue to show a strong link to a Jewish and democratic Israel.
Israeli Arabs protest the initial approval of a bill to enforce lowering the volume on loudspeakers broadcasting the Muslim call to prayer, Kabul, Israel, March 11, 2017.
In Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s school of morality and politics, accepting a bribe is no reason to unseat an elected premier, nor is a hostile takeover of the country’s media. He insists that a prime minister should not be replaced because of criminal indictments or guilty verdicts. According to Netanyahu, a prime minister can only be “replaced at the ballot box,” although what he means is that a prime minister can only be “replaced by Jews at the ballot box.”
March 17 marks two years since his horrible election-day video warning — “Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls” — and calling on Jews to turn out en masse. It’s hard to know how many votes he picked up for the Likud with this alarmist message, but the damage he caused to relations between Jews and Arabs is discernible.
The Palestinian security forces in Gaza are just as tough as the Israelis on the youths who try to cross the border looking for work.
Two Palestinian teenagers look at the rubble of destroyed buildings, Gaza City, Gaza, June 10, 2015.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — More Gazans are seeking to flee to Israel in search of jobs in light of the high unemployment rate and the worsening economic conditions in the coastal enclave. On Feb. 16, Palestinian security forces stopped three young Gazans from crossing into Israel through the southern Gaza Strip. Four young men were also arrested Feb. 13 and interrogated by the Ministry of the Interior.
Despite a warning from the security apparatus in Gaza back in August that any Palestinian who attempts to cross over into Israel would be arrested and imprisoned, they keep trying.
Israeli concerns are also growing about the attempts by Gazans to sneak into its territory. The Israel Defense Forces arrested four young men attempting to cross into Israel Feb. 1 and another Feb. 2.
A visit to Morocco shows that the claim
of Palestinians to a “right of return” has little historic, moral or legal basis.
Jews lived in Morocco for centuries before Islam came to Casablanca, Fez, and Marrakesh. The Jews, along with the Berbers, were the backbone of the economy and culture. Now their historic presence can be seen primarily in the hundreds of Jewish cemeteries and abandoned synagogues that are omnipresent in cities and towns throughout the Maghreb.
The Arab press has evinced an inordinate interest in the future of Binyamin Netanyahu over the past few weeks, due to the various ongoing investigations against him and against several people who held key positions in his entourage. Arab interest is motivated by hopes for the prime minister’s downfall and a resulting disintegration of Israel’s Rightist camp, leading to the Left’s assuming the leadership of the Jewish State. The Left, after all, has proven time and time again that it is willing to pay a higher price than Netanyahu for a piece of paper on which the word “peace” appears.
AIPAC’s mission to cultivate and maintain bipartisan support for Israel in the United States is an important mission. Unfortunately, the messages AIPAC’s leaders delivered during the organization’s annual policy convention this week in Washington indicate that they are at a loss for how to achieve their mission in the contentious political environment now prevalent in the post- Obama America.
You’ve undoubtedly heard that Jerusalem represents the third holiest city in Islam.
That is provably untrue.
Or, perhaps you’ve read in Wikipedia or heard on CNN that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest place of worship in Islam.
That, too, is a provable lie.
Or, maybe you heard about the vote by UNESCO in 2016 that denied any Israeli connection to the Temple Mount, referring it only by the Islamic name, “Haram al-Sharif.”
After weeks of outrage at the close ties between top Democrats and Louis Farrakhan, the leader of an anti-Semitic hate group, the media finally condemned anti-Semitism by a top political official.
President Trump and OMB Director Mick Mulvaney had referred to outgoing NEC Director Gary Cohn as a “globalist.” And “globalist,” according to Think Progress, the Huffington Post, Salon, and Vox, is an “anti-Semitic slur.” Those are the same media outlets that had no problem using “globalist” as a slur when targeting Trump. HuffPo had published a piece tarring him as “Trump: The Globalist Plutocrat” and Vox had described Trump going to Davos, “the world’s biggest party for globalist elites.”