DO THE PRIME MINISTER’S WORDS
PORTEND A GRIM FUTURE?
I once had a neighbor who was an Ethiopian princess.
Belonging to the Makonnen royal family, she was a relative of the late Haile Selassie, emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. She had studied at Hillsdale College, met and married an American, and settled in Michigan. Her kids used to play in our yard sometimes.
That former neighbor — or more properly, her illustrious ancestor — came to mind while I was watching Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address Congress Tuesday. I couldn’t help thinking of how Haile Selassie had passionately addressed the League of Nations in 1936 to condemn fascist Italian aggression against Ethiopia.
The emperor had specific charges about horrors being unleashed upon his people, in particular Italy’s use of chemical weapons. Begging for international assistance, he declared to the ambassadors assembled in Geneva…
“God and history will remember your judgment.”
History remembers that the League of Nations did nothing. But Haile Selassie’s speech, a cri de coeur in the truest sense, is now recalled as prophetic. It was, in essence, a warning to the world of greater horrors yet to come.