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Monday, January 01, 2007

The Archbishop and what should not need saying

I suppose if I was a really dedicated blogger I'd envy those Stakhanovites who've carried on meeting their production quotas over the holidays. But I must admit to having enjoyed the break.

The world has of course not taken a break from producing bloggable news. For example, the Archbishop of Canterbury has made a characteristic contribution to the festive season by declaring that Middle Eastern Christians are being victimized... by George Bush and Tony Blair. As well as applying ethical reasoning of similar quality to the Israeli security barrier. I have much more to write about/to the Archbish than I can manage just now. But be assured that he won't escape. To keep you going for now, Mick Hartley has a round-up of some excellent reactions from the Times. And Frances Waddams of Anglicans for Israel (no stranger in these parts, methinks) has been quick off the mark with a letter to Rowan W.

The final paragraph of Stephen Shaw's letter to the Times bears quoting, not because it says anything new but because it says what should not need saying:-

'My experience during many visits to Israel is that most Israeli Jews, as well as Israeli Arabs and Christians, dislike the fence. It is ugly, expensive and bad for Israel’s battered image. But they dislike even more being blown up as they travel on buses or eat in restaurants. The sad fact is that the fence has saved lives.'

Dear Rowan Williams, dear Bishop John Gladwin, dear Christian Aid, dear Episcopal Church, dear Anglican Peace and Justice Network, dear Ekklesia, dear Tablet readers, please do one thing for me. Simply read, mark, learn and inwardly digest that last sentence. You may think that using the barrier to slice off a chunk of Palestinian land is a shabby trick. You may have fifty good reasons why it should be dismantled. But there is only one thing that needs to be said in response: the fence has saved lives. And if your reaction is any kind of paraphrase on 'Yes, but...' or 'Well, actually, we don't particularly care about those lives', your self-image as people moved by a concern for peace and goodwill to men stands revealed as so much humbug.

A very happy New Year to one and all, and I'll be back on or after the 12th.


SnoopyTheGoon said...

That is one superb post, Cyrus, if I am allowed to say so.

Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

The sentence you highlight is not the full story. "The sad fact is that the fence has saved Israeli lives." Yes. The other sad fact is that the fence has caused many Arab deaths. Children die because their ambulance is not permitted through to the hospital. Children die because they are trapped in a hot car for three days, not allowed to go through, and not allowed to return where they came from either. But apparently innocent Arab lives are not important.

Anonymous said...

So anonymous, we can nicely blame Israel again. Don't the Palestinians have hospitals? What is all that aid spent on then?

Cyrus said...

'But apparently innocent Arab lives are not important.'

No anonymous, evidently they're not at all important to the terrorist outfits whose murderous acts led to the building of the fence.

You've maybe forgotten the case of the woman who was apprehended on her way to blow herself up inside an Israeli hospital. How about refreshing your memory: