David Calling

A Surrender to Fantasy

“Do you not see, my son, with what little wisdom the world is governed?” is one of my favorite quotes. It comes from the long-ago days when Sweden was a great power and Count Oxenstierna, the Chancellor, was instructing his son in politics. There’s a now new Red–Green government in Sweden — short-hand for socialists and ecologists — and their first action is to recognize the state of Palestine.

Playing copycat, the British parliament has also passed a vote to recognize the state of Palestine. I can’t recall a previous surrender to fantasy quite like that. Actually neither Sweden nor Britain can do a thing with a vote that’s not enforceable. In any case, the part of Palestine on the West Bank is incompatible with the part in Gaza. How weird that these votes in Western democracies in favor of a state with no boundaries come at a moment when the jihadi movement that calls itself the Islamic State is building a state whose boundaries are also unsettled. None of the agents really believe in the statehoods they are pushing for, it’s political theater and — as in a Shakespeare tragedy — the curtain must come down on many corpses.

David Pryce-Jones is a British author and commentator and a senior editor of National Review.

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