Originally published in The Wall Street Journal
‘”We will never give in to terrorism or violence.” How often have we heard such statements from our political leaders? Especially after any terrorist atrocity. The words sound good, but they’re simply not true: Our Western societies consistently reward violence, praising the extremists while forgetting their victims and ignoring the men and women of peace. Strangely enough, a dinner at Windsor castle last week reminded Britons of this fact.
On Wednesday evening, Her Majesty the Queen hosted a banquet to celebrate the first state visit by an Irish president to the U.K. Relations between Britain and the Republic of Ireland have been sticky since the latter achieved independence in 1922. But the presence of various sporting and television stars at the banquet, as well as Judi Dench and Daniel Day-Lewis, seemed to help ease the event along. A surprise to many people was that another guest—not to say ghost—at the banquet was Martin McGuinness. Currently the deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, Mr. McGuinness was formerly, by his own proud admission, a commander of the Irish Republican Army…’
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