WHY has there been a widespread reluctance within Anglo-Jewry to criticise the Prince of Wales for his unacceptable comments about Jews and Israel? Only the Campaign Against Antisemitism has been sufficiently courageous to call Charles’s stated views precisely what they are — disturbing. The Jewish Establishment appears to be afraid of offending the Royal Family by roundly condemning what he said 31 years ago. It may have been three decades ago, but the sentiments he expressed were clear enough: that the “influx of foreign, European Jews” to Israel is responsible for all the ills of the Middle East.
The inference is that Holocaust survivors who sought refuge in the Jewish homeland are somehow to blame for all the problems the Palestinians are unable to resolve among themselves, and the fact that no Arab nation wants either to assist or resettle the itinerant Palestinians. Further, he asks why America can’t do something to reduce the influence of the “Jewish lobby”.
Charles’s comments might well have been made in 1986, but that in no way reduces their offensiveness. He is our future king and as such should refrain from taking sides in this way. Buckingham Palace has not issued any meaningful statement and never does in such circumstances. However, on this occasion, it needs to make an exception. British Jewry has never shown anything but unqualified loyalty to the Royal Family and would not expect anything less in return. Charles needs at the very least to clarify what he meant. Perhaps now it is more apparent why no member of the Royal Family has ever visited Israel, and with Charles, the heir to the throne, why this is unlikely to happen in the forseeable future.