I’m frequently asked why I have written a fantasy novel instead of a searing critique of modern society. My answer is that the fantasy I write has more credibilty and eloquence than the reality in which we live.
A case in point is the recent ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States that “Jerusalem, Israel” cannot be listed as a place of birth on a US passport. You can’t have missed it – the capital city of a sovereign nation denied as a place of birth by six naked martinets who are convinced they wear the magnificent robes of justice. What’s next? Will the Supreme Court insist that someone born in the Falkland Islands have their birthplace listed as “Islas Malvinas”? I think it’s the Supreme Court justices who are indulging in fantasy. Didn’t their parents read to them the fairy tale about the emperor’s new clothes?
The world we live in is certainly a strange place, but no more so than when it comes to Israel. I’m not going to detail the absurd bias against Israel – I recommend organisations like Honest Reporting and Hillel Neuer’s UN Watch for that – but what I do want to say is that what we’re seeing not only defies rationality but has entered the realm of fantasy.
Sure, you can ‘dispute’ Israel’s sovereignty over parts of Jerusalem, but Jerusalem is in Israel whether you like it or not. (I like it, just for the record.) To deny this is to put yourself in the company of fanatical terrorists who chant “from the river to the sea”. It’s not as if the IDF and stalwart Israeli leaders like Prime Minister Netanyahu are going to throw up their hands in surrender just because the BBC (and the US Supreme Court) are too obstinate to admit Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
It doesn’t matter how many people decide to believe the fantasy that Jerusalem isn’t in Israel. The whole world could decide to rename Israel, but it wouldn’t make any difference and it wouldn’t be the first time either. Been there done that. Hadrian banned all Jews, called Jerusalem Aelia Capitolina, dedicated it to the god Jupiter, and renamed Judea and Samaria to Syria Palaestina. He may have left an enduring legacy, but the last time I checked there were more than six million Jews in Israel.
What makes headlines today will be forgotten tomorrow. If I may be so immodest as to quote from my own fantasy novel, senseless pronouncements like that of the US Supreme Court are “a drop in the sea in the history of man”. Which is fantasy and which is reality? My quote or the Supreme Court ruling? I’ll let you decide.