23 January 2018

Duds in al-Quds

A certain former Indiana state governor’s recent visit to the Holy City may have gone over well with Likud and their American and British supporters. It didn’t go over well with anyone else.

Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Church, no doubt remembering what it was like when his countrymen were visited by another American neoconservative statesman and unceremoniously thrown under the bus, refused to meet with the veep. Wise move on their part. The Copts have long shown excellent judgement on these issues. They have to; that’s how they’ve managed to survive this long.

As for the Palestinians themselves, they’re having none of it. The Christians of Palestine, notably Archimandrite Theodosios (Hanna) of Sebastē, have already registered their great displeasure with the diplomatic move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. None of them welcomed the Hoosier. In fact, Fatah called for a general strike today; most Palestinian businesses closed up shop for the duration of the state visit, according to the Quartz article.

Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Ahed Tamimi, along with her mother and cousin, is still in indefinite military detention, awaiting what’s sure to be a kangaroo trial for defending her fifteen-year-old cousin, who was shot in the head by an IDF soldier. The well-oiled machinery of collective punishment as it applies to Palestinians is still, it seems, running smoothly in the State of Israel. Hardly a Christian – or, rightly speaking, even a Jewish – principle.

So much for the ‘realist’ at 1600 Pennsylvania. The fact that America is no longer considered a trustworthy broker in the peace process in the Levant is now apparent to Israel’s liberals. If for nothing else, we may have the current administration to thank – or, more likely, blame – for tearing off even the veneer of objectivity and civility we may have had previously. Our now open and blatant hostility to a two-state solution loses our government further ground in the Middle East, and jeopardises some of our true national interests.

I honestly pray for my Palestinian brothers and sisters, both Muslim and Christian. I pray that our nation’s short-sighted and foolish policies toward them will be short-lived. I pray that we come out of this with a stronger appreciation for the patience of the Palestinian people.

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