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Prince Charles Palestine Stance Makes Best Case Yet For Retaining The Monarchy

Basil Valentine
21st Century Wire

The antics of the Princes Andrew and Harry have hardly covered the House of Windsor in glory over the last few weeks, the result of their various shenanigans being an increasing number of Britons are scratching their heads and wondering what worthwhile purpose the 1200 year old institution of Monarchy could possibly serve in the 21st Century.

Indeed, the Royal brand has become so tarnished that for the first time in living memory, a prominent MP (and recent challenger for the Labour Party leadership) named Clive Lewis called for Britain to hold a referendum on the abolition of the crown when the present Queen, now 93, finally dies;  a call to which this writer had been extremely sympathetic.

However, events over the last week in Bethlehem and Washington DC have changed all that.

While the Queen has remained circumspect about commenting on world events throughout her now 68 year tenure on the throne, Charles’s recent speech in Bethlehem was an example of the unique position afforded to Royalty to speak out on major international issues. Uniquely, high ranking Royals like Charles have a voice on the world stage which they can, if they wish, use to make a statement without the need to please an electorate, foreign power or anyone else, something Charles’s late wife Diana was particularly apt at doing. Charles made a historic first visit to the occupied West Bank last week where he spoke at Casa Nova, a Franciscan pilgrim house close to the Church of the Nativity.

The Prince of Wales said, “It is my dearest wish that the future will bring freedom, justice and equality to all Palestinians,” words with which I would hope all readers would agree.

Notably, Charles’s stance is not only the strongest statement of support ever given by British royalty to the Palestinians, but it is the polar opposite of the so-called “Peace Plan” unveiled at the White House this week.

Charles went on to state, “It breaks my heart that we should continue to see so much suffering and division.”


The Prince of Wales, last week visiting to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Palestine (Image Credit: Express & Star

Conversely, the Kushner-Trump-Netanyahu plan envisages a future of permanent division and subjugation for the Palestinians, crammed into a tiny fraction of the land to which they are legally entitled. Hence, in the current climate, it took some courage for Charles to say what he did and reminded us, for perhaps the first time in decades, that the Monarchy can have a meaningful and very worthwhile role as, ironically, a speaker of truth to power – in this case the occupying power, Israel.

While Charles words were respectfully transcribed, unsurprisingly they were hardly trumpeted as major headlines, unprecedented though they undoubtedly were. While in Bethlehem, The Duke of Cornwall also stopped to chat with Palestinian refugees, among them Dr Abdelfattah Abu Srour, director of the Al Rowwad Centre in Aida refugee camp. He told the Prince how he works with children as young as eight-years-old who when asked what they want to be when they grow up have responded “that they want to die because nobody cares.”  Dr Srour said that the heir to the throne replied: “it is painful to hear that.”

In Britain, the climate of fear engendered by the fake claims of anti-semitism leveled at virtually the entire British left have had their desired effect, with politicians of all stripes successfully cowed into almost complete submission by the Israel lobby. Most are now unable or unwilling to utter the three words “Palestinian Human Rights” together in the same sentence. The last prominent politician to do so on a regular basis was Jeremy Corbyn and we all know what happened to him. But Charles is in a different position. Unlike relatively vulnerable politicians, and the low calibre stooges who populate the United States Congress, he cannot be bought. He is not required to sign-up to the ten pledges issued by the Board of Deputies as an ultimatum to the candidates for the Leadership and Deputy Leadership of the Labour Party – a requirement which some believe has signaled the end of free speech, at least in a political sense. He is not required to row-in with the Likud and tether his opinions to Tel Aviv, but his title and status mean he has a voice which the Corporate media are obliged to report his words neutrally, and while he may wield no demonstrable political power, his is nevertheless an “important voice”.

One would have hoped that at least one British politician would have had the courage to issue an immediate and ringing endorsement of Charles’s principled position, but sadly they didn’t. The cold, eerie silence from Westminster that greeted his speech is the clearest possible indication we could have that, for the time being at least, Monarchy remains an invaluable institution.

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Author Basil Valentine is a writer, artist and poet, as well as a Roving Correspondent for Culture & Sport for the SUNDAY WIRE show broadcast weekly on the Alternate Current Radio Network. Follow him on Twitter @says_basil

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