The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams has come out with some extraordinary comments over the past few days:
During the weekend, he accused Tony Blair and George Bush
of endangering the lives of thousands of Christians in the middle east because of their attack on Iraq. He also blamed Israel's policies for making life impossible for the Christians in Bethlehem, saying that the Israeli-built wall around Bethlehem symbolised what was “deeply wrong in the human heart”.
Rowan William's comments go to illustrate just how deluded and simplistic "peace campaigners" are. They believe that where there is a conflict, both sides must be equally at fault. In reality, conflicts are never that simple. Israel is suffering daily provocation from a Palestinian authority that denies their right to exist (and who are fighting amongst themselves as well as their enemy), Israel simply doesn't have a peace partner right now.
Or course the people who Rowan Williams failed to criticise were the Islamic extremists who make the lives of Christians so intolerable in the first place (As Ruth Gledhill
mentions in her blog, Israel's Christians suffer no such hardship).
It is worth noting that life was getting harder for Christians in the middle east long before the attack on Iraq, but this will be of no interest in Dr Williams. In his mind, and in the mind of so many other "peace campaigners", once the Israeli Palestinian conflict is solved, all the middle east's problems will somehow disappear. In fact the opposite is the case: Until the inhabitants of the region can grow out of a mindset that glorifies violence as the solution to all problems, there can be no political settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians.