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In West Bank, Prince William speaks of Palestinian 'country'

9 Comments
By ABBAS MOMANI

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Prince William is neither a politician nor a diplomat, and you have to assume his use of the word 'countries' was just a slip of the tongue by someone inexperienced in world affairs. This probably innocent comment seems to have made the headlines all over the world - just goes to show what a minefield the Middle East is, as if we needed reminding of that fact.

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It is a country, one that has had its land taken over the last 70 years. Although the roots of that land grab go back to the 1890s. But back then, Jews, Arabs and Christians were all Palestinian. They all, for the most part, got along, lived beside each other and did business with each other. They spoke the same language and had very similar shared cultures. That all changed as Herzl's ideas took hold.

I think young William knows exactly what he was saying. Fair play to him.

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Prince William is neither a politician nor a diplomat, and you have to assume his use of the word 'countries' was just a slip of the tongue by someone inexperienced in world affairs.

Not making political statements is a major part of British royalty's "job" - slips of the tongue can occur, but they're not "inexperienced in world affairs".

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Never was a country, never will be. At least until they shed their terrorist leanings and learn to get along with their neighbors.

As for Prince Willie, he's just another empty vessel in a nice suit.

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Duke of Cambridge told the Palestinian people last night that they have not been forgotten and Britain stands with them in their quest for a just peace with Israel.

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Never was a country, never will be. At least until they shed their terrorist leanings and learn to get along with their neighbors.

I agree, Israel was never a country. It's a modern day construct that displaced millions and caused hatred between the Arabic peoples - be they Sephardic Jew, Muslim or Christian.

Israel has got away with it's terrorist regimes for too long. The world needs to take a stand against it.

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If Wills did use the word "countries" as a deliberate political statement in a public meeting, then it would signify a major change in the apolitical role traditionally played by the British monarchy - and that's a call that I'm pretty sure the Prince wouldn't be allowed to make. We usually only find out how members of the royal family feel about an issue when there's a leak - and that doesn't happen often. I'm thinking of the Queen's disapproval of Maggie Thatcher's reluctance to impose further sanctions on apartheid South Africa, for example.

Maybe he does sympathise with the Palestinians. Or maybe he thought it was just the polite thing to say. Or maybe he just didn't have the experience, in one of the most politically sensitive areas in the world, to know how to avoid putting his foot in it.

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Heretic, the UN may disagree with you.  Plus, remember that in Roman times the area was known as "Judaea"... sound like anything to you?

Any displacement was unfortunate, but largely the fault of the Arab League when they tried to exterminate Israel in the 1948 war. Since then, they have steadfastly refused to do anything to help their "brother Palestinians". Rather, they keep them in cages and camps, and feed them propaganda about one day returning home.

Final thought: is it better to be Jewish in a Muslim country (Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, etc), or is it better to be Muslim in Israel? That may tell you something about the two sides involved.

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First off, every member of the UK's royal family, and their staff, who is participating in an official 'Royal visit' is extensively briefed, advised, and coached on the language to be used. And a lifetime member of the family has been pretty much been trained to watch what they say from the moment they started making noises that resemble words.

But though it is extremely frowned upon, they do occasionally 'deviate' from the script, sometimes as a sort of unofficial government warning, sometimes as a way of urging their own government to rethink a position, and sometimes as a way of injecting simple humanity into the way a politicized issue is being looked at (think Diana at the AIDS hospice).

And that sort of 'deviation' is a lot more likely than a 'slip of the tongue'.

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