In Jerusalem God saved the queen
In seventy years of reign, she will not have come to Israel or Palestine. Her Majesty the Queen of England has died. Here as elsewhere in the world, we salute his personality. In quasi-biblical language, Israel’s President Isaac Herzog sent his condolences to those who lost their « matriarch ». The President of the Palestinian Authority prayed to God for eternal peace and serenity. Here as elsewhere, we comment on its real or supposed relations with local communities. In Israel, one wonders why, the one who has visited 120 countries, some of which are bordering, has never been to the Jewish state.
In this corner of the world, the evocation of the Empire remains a sensitive subject. The years of the British mandate – 1920 to 1948 – have left their mark: bagpipes and gaiters for scouts, military cemeteries in Jerusalem, Ramla or Gaza, archaeological discoveries, the ramparts of Jerusalem “cleared” of the constructions that were there buildings, the development of the city of Haifa, the imposition of covering all buildings in Jerusalem with stones, etc.
But also the Balfour declaration favoring the establishment of a Jewish home, dark hours of terrorism, dark hours of war, pages of history and political balance sheet and ultimately, perhaps, the impasse in which always find the politicians to find a settlement between the two legitimate peoples to live here in peace.
Of course, Queen Elizabeth II has nothing to do with it. She was not yet on the throne, and had she been, she would probably not have been able to influence the political decisions made then.
Would she have approved in 2015 – if it had happened to her – this idea of an academic proposing to include Palestine on the list of Commonwealth states, under the past British mandate, in order to reshuffle the cards on the negotiating table? ?
The day before his funeral, this Sunday, the Church will have us read the first Epistle to Timothy and these verses: « I encourage, to make requests, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving for all men, for heads of state and all those in authority, that we may lead our lives in tranquility and calm, in all piety and dignity. » Certainly Charles III is now on the throne, but how many of us will have a thought for her?
The British Jewish community has a special prayer for rulers that includes these words: “May the supreme King of kings (…) put in his heart, and in the hearts of all his advisers, a spirit of wisdom and understanding that they may keep the peace of the kingdom (and) deal kindly and sincerely with all Israel. In his days and in ours, may our heavenly Father spread the tabernacle of peace over all the inhabitants of the earth; and the redeemer come to Zion. »
For us Christians, he came to Zion. After his passion, his death and his resurrection, he left an empty tomb which upsets the grammar of humanity and that of the subjects of his gracious Majesty because here forever « God saved the Queen » and us with it!