Prince Charles to make Great Britain's first official royal visit to Israel

In what may well be a dress rehearsal for his forthcoming ascension to the throne, Prince Charles will be making Britain's first official royal visit to Israel to attend an event at Yad Vashem, "Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting Antisemitism," on January 23.  He will be joining the presidents of Russia, France, Germany, Italy, and Austria, as well as the kings of Spain and Belgium.  These are all nations where anti-Semitism has a vigorous past and present presence.

Charles himself, his brother Edward, and his father, the duke of Edinburgh, have all traveled to Israel, but never in an official capacity.  In 1994, the duke attended a ceremony at Yad Vashem honoring his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, who had been awarded the title for saving many Jewish lives during the Holocaust.  She is buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem at her own dying request, a fact omitted in the Netflix series The Crown.  Charles also represented the queen privately at the funerals of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 and Shimon Peres in 2016.

The no longer "bonnie" prince carries a historic burden.

Great Britain has a sordid history with respect to the Holocaust and Israel.  After a betrayal of the promise of the Balfour Declaration, in 1922, eighty percent of the Palestine Mandate was deeded to the Hashemites with no historical or religious ties to ancient Palestine.  This was followed by a series of "White Papers" that severely limited Jewish immigration to Palestine.  At the Evian conference of 1938, the British slammed the door of Palestine against any sizable admissions of Jewish refugees, effectively trapping millions of hapless Jews in Europe.

While British callousness to Jewish suffering in slamming shut the gates of Palestine is well known, less widely known is how indifferent the royals were.

King George, father of the present Queen Elizabeth, was stalwart during the Blitz but no friend of the Jews.  The king not only supported the White Paper, but also stated that he was "glad to think that steps are being taken to prevent these people [read: Jews] leaving their country of origin."  Halifax's office telegraphed Britain's ambassador in Berlin asking him to encourage the German government "to check the unauthorized emigration of Jews."  The king and queen, who visited veterans and orphans in displays of solidarity with ordinary people, were silent on the Holocaust.

After the war, British planes bombed and forcibly rerouted ships bound for Palestine carrying the wretched survivors of the Holocaust, and in the immediate aftermath of the 1948 war, they, with Pakistan, were the only nations to recognize Jordan's illegal occupation of Jerusalem and the West Bank.

One could be heartened by Prince Charles's recent statement issued to guests at the palace:

In my own small way, I have sought to recognize the contribution of the Jewish community by various means, whether in attending or hosting receptions for the Kindertransport Association, or for Holocaust survivors, or attending events for the National Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, of which I am Patron, or helping to build a Jewish community center in Krakow — where I was privileged to affix a mezuzah to the doorpost" — or in agreeing without a moment's hesitation to become patron of World Jewish Relief, of which he said, "I see this as the least I can do to try to repay, in some small way, the immense blessings the Jewish people have brought to this land and, indeed, to humanity.

He also has a soft spot for Islam: for many years, he has been a patron of the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies and has shown great interest in its history and standing in the world.  His royal feathers are unruffled by sharia family tribunals that operate openly in England, setting binding rulings on civil matters.  In a 2018 book, Charles At Seventy: Thoughts, Hopes and Dreams, written with the cooperation of Clarence House, author Robert Jobson highlights the prince's thoughts:

He opposed the Iraq war; disagrees with bans on burkas and niqabs; believes that the Israel-Palestine conflict is "the fundamental reason for the hostility and all the 'pent-up poison' throughout the Islamic world"; thinks that Christianity can learn from Islam.

Ecumenical, isn't he?

Finally, and most discouraging, is the fact that according to a statement issued by his office, his trip will include a "program of engagements" in the "occupied Palestinian Territories" with Mahmoud Abbas and other adherents of a covenant that seeks to visit a Holocaust on the Jewish citizens of Israel.

Thus, his participation in the Holocaust Memorial renders it another episode of caterwauling street theater by European hypocrites.

Photo credit: Northern Ireland Office.

In what may well be a dress rehearsal for his forthcoming ascension to the throne, Prince Charles will be making Britain's first official royal visit to Israel to attend an event at Yad Vashem, "Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting Antisemitism," on January 23.  He will be joining the presidents of Russia, France, Germany, Italy, and Austria, as well as the kings of Spain and Belgium.  These are all nations where anti-Semitism has a vigorous past and present presence.

Charles himself, his brother Edward, and his father, the duke of Edinburgh, have all traveled to Israel, but never in an official capacity.  In 1994, the duke attended a ceremony at Yad Vashem honoring his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, who had been awarded the title for saving many Jewish lives during the Holocaust.  She is buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem at her own dying request, a fact omitted in the Netflix series The Crown.  Charles also represented the queen privately at the funerals of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 and Shimon Peres in 2016.

The no longer "bonnie" prince carries a historic burden.

Great Britain has a sordid history with respect to the Holocaust and Israel.  After a betrayal of the promise of the Balfour Declaration, in 1922, eighty percent of the Palestine Mandate was deeded to the Hashemites with no historical or religious ties to ancient Palestine.  This was followed by a series of "White Papers" that severely limited Jewish immigration to Palestine.  At the Evian conference of 1938, the British slammed the door of Palestine against any sizable admissions of Jewish refugees, effectively trapping millions of hapless Jews in Europe.

While British callousness to Jewish suffering in slamming shut the gates of Palestine is well known, less widely known is how indifferent the royals were.

King George, father of the present Queen Elizabeth, was stalwart during the Blitz but no friend of the Jews.  The king not only supported the White Paper, but also stated that he was "glad to think that steps are being taken to prevent these people [read: Jews] leaving their country of origin."  Halifax's office telegraphed Britain's ambassador in Berlin asking him to encourage the German government "to check the unauthorized emigration of Jews."  The king and queen, who visited veterans and orphans in displays of solidarity with ordinary people, were silent on the Holocaust.

After the war, British planes bombed and forcibly rerouted ships bound for Palestine carrying the wretched survivors of the Holocaust, and in the immediate aftermath of the 1948 war, they, with Pakistan, were the only nations to recognize Jordan's illegal occupation of Jerusalem and the West Bank.

One could be heartened by Prince Charles's recent statement issued to guests at the palace:

In my own small way, I have sought to recognize the contribution of the Jewish community by various means, whether in attending or hosting receptions for the Kindertransport Association, or for Holocaust survivors, or attending events for the National Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, of which I am Patron, or helping to build a Jewish community center in Krakow — where I was privileged to affix a mezuzah to the doorpost" — or in agreeing without a moment's hesitation to become patron of World Jewish Relief, of which he said, "I see this as the least I can do to try to repay, in some small way, the immense blessings the Jewish people have brought to this land and, indeed, to humanity.

He also has a soft spot for Islam: for many years, he has been a patron of the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies and has shown great interest in its history and standing in the world.  His royal feathers are unruffled by sharia family tribunals that operate openly in England, setting binding rulings on civil matters.  In a 2018 book, Charles At Seventy: Thoughts, Hopes and Dreams, written with the cooperation of Clarence House, author Robert Jobson highlights the prince's thoughts:

He opposed the Iraq war; disagrees with bans on burkas and niqabs; believes that the Israel-Palestine conflict is "the fundamental reason for the hostility and all the 'pent-up poison' throughout the Islamic world"; thinks that Christianity can learn from Islam.

Ecumenical, isn't he?

Finally, and most discouraging, is the fact that according to a statement issued by his office, his trip will include a "program of engagements" in the "occupied Palestinian Territories" with Mahmoud Abbas and other adherents of a covenant that seeks to visit a Holocaust on the Jewish citizens of Israel.

Thus, his participation in the Holocaust Memorial renders it another episode of caterwauling street theater by European hypocrites.

Photo credit: Northern Ireland Office.