Real change came for the EU and UK during the week when the EU Parliament finally agreed the Brexit Deal and Britain left the EU on January 31. Also while the impeachment of the US President Donald Trump was gathering steam in the US senate, the US President found time to announce his Middle East Plan midwifed by his son in law, which was nothing but a one sided plan to buy out the rights of the Palestinian with huge American dollars, and create the impression of looking for peace when all that was being done was to provoke the helpless Palestinians. During this same week over 40 Heads of Government gathered in Israel to commemorate 75 years since the Germans under Adolf Hitler murdered over one million Jews at Auschwitz in the Holocaust just as the Anglican Church Lagos Diocese at the Marina continued with its choice of the tune of Hitler’s Germany as its Diocesan song.
All these actions on the world stage this week have three things in common. They are brazenly political for the simple fact that politics is ubiquitous either with diplomacy or in gas chambers. The three have a rich historical background that warns that history cannot be ignored . And all three smirk of impunity or levity or even callous indifference and I really mean that and will explain the harsh words on the three issues.
First on the conclusion of Brexit, there is no doubt that the UK is deeply polarized as the Brexit vote was a narrow one with 52 % for Brexit and 48% for Remain. But the Remain machine tried to sabotage Brexit and leaders like Boris Johnson and Nickel Farage showed exceptional tenacity and persistence to see Brexit through and they should be commended for their politics of persistence in showing that the majority must have its way. This has always been the way and manner of British politics with its first past the post democracy which at the end was what the consummation of Brexit was all about. From Jan 31, 2020 the UK became an Island unto itself, separated in word and deed from Mainland Europe geographically as it has always been by the Ocean but now politically too and it must now grapple and wrestle with the economic and demographic consequences of its actions in fulfilling the terms and conditions of its Brexit strategies and decisions.
On the revelation of the Trump Middle East Plan in the middle of his impeachment, it is not difficult to fathom why. One could call it diversionary and show that even the Palestinians have a price in spite of their hatred of the Israelis. But it is certainly a bribe which the Palestinians must perceive rightly as an affront or insult, because it does not return their lands seized in 1967 during the Six Days War to them. In addition both Trump and his guest the Israeli leader and current PM Benjamin Netanyahu have tenure issues as they are both not sure of being around for sometime to implement their dollar dangling bribe to split the ranks of Palestinian leadership. Netanyahu is facing bribery charges and has just been refused immunity by the Israeli Parliament and must face his charges if he has any respect for transparency and the rule of law as he should as an elected leader in Israel.
On Trump’s impeachment trial there is no doubt that history may repeat itself and he may not be removed from office as indeed no American president has ever been so removed in the senate. But again the fight to call or not call witnesses will decide how fast or slow this senate impeachment trial will be. Then there is the issue of the Bolton book, ‘ the Room where it happens ‘. It is only in the US that a security chief will breach his oath of confidentiality to publish a book implicating a president who recently fired him. The Democrats see things differently and would honor and give credibility to any information from any quarters that buttress their impeachment charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice against the US President. They however meet their match in the Republicans lawyers who have rattled the democrats with searching answers and observations that make the impeachment charges less than legal and credible. Anyway the impeachment trial continues and one cannot but wonder if at the end, the Impeachment Managers themselves will not be in the dock for the charges they have so swiftly and hurriedly made available to the senate to ensure that Trump will not contest the 2020 presidential elections; while shielding their presumed but not yet elected presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son from any questioning when the two are blatantly and with impunity, at the center of the impeachment charges against the US president.
The 75th Anniversary of the deaths at the gas chamber at Auschwitz was a reminder to the world of man’s inhumanity to man in the way the Germans under Hitler’s Nazi Germany carried out the death of 6m Jews. This particular remembrance came at a time when anti Semitism is on the rise globally. The German nation since unification in 1990 has been trying to atone and ensure that a horror and hatred like the Holocaust never repeats itself. Retaining the tune of its national anthem is part of that compunction and mortification. Again I do not see the sense in the Anglican Church in Lagos Diocese in Nigeria in 2020 singing a new Diocesan tune set like the anthem that the Nazis used to kill 6m Jews in gas chambers during Adolf Hitler’s reign of terror in World War 11. I say the choice of that tune and the refusal to take another look at it, shows a lack of humanity on the part of those who made the choice. It shows clearly an insensitivity and nonchalance for history and the horror of the Holocaust. I feel it is a Christian duty to point this out and will persist if the impunity and nonchalance of those who made the choice persists, for the simple reason that the tune is a recall of horror and a disgrace to humanity in being used as a compulsory Diocesan song.
At a time when Nigerians especially in our part of the nation are increasingly bothered about their security and safety of life and property, religious institutions like the Anglican Church in Lagos should provide succor, sanctuary and spiritual leadership. A Diocesan song is like a national anthem and should be sung with gusto, love and respect. Recalling the Holocaust during such a song in Nigeria is an avoidable and historical distraction and an ugly one too because it is in bad taste and very lacking in respect for human dignity and love of humanity. Once again long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.