Jun. 26, 2018
- William’s Visit to Israel Is a Putdown for Foreign Office Arabists – Roger Boyes
- William, aka the Duke of Cambridge, met this week with the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. It’s a remarkable encounter for the second-in-line to the throne because the Palestinian is a nasty piece of work (doctoral dissertation: “The secret relationship between Nazism and Zionism”).
A shift in geopolitics has made the visit possible – and a cultural change in the Foreign Office, which has for many decades advised the royal household that it is better to butter up Arab autocrats than engage with the gritty detail of the Israeli-Palestinian relationship.
A romantic vision of the Arab world translated until recently into a sense that Palestinians have drawn the short straw. And that Israel is gaming the West and the Americans in particular. It was a world view in which Israel was a disruptor of the natural order.
The fact is the caravan has moved on. The Sunni Gulf Arabs share a common enemy with Israel: Iran. And the Palestinians are becoming a source of irritation for many Arab governments rather than a holy cause. This has left Britain out of step. (The Times-UK)