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King Charles III: A Friend to UK Jewry, with Special and Historic Ties to Israel

 

Itamar Sharon and TOI Staff

Times of Israel, Sept. 10, 2022

“The world must “be fearless in confronting falsehoods and resolute in resisting words and acts of violence. We must tend the earth of our societies so that the seeds of division cannot take root and grow.”

With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom has a new king in Charles III, who at the age of 73 is the oldest person to ascend the British throne. Charles has long had a good relationship with British Jews, and in recent years has also shored up his bona fides with Israel.

The royals have a deep historic connection to the Jewish state, with Britain ruling the land between 1920-1948. In 2020, then-president Reuven Rivlin noted to Charles during a visit to Israel that he and other Israelis of his generation were born as subjects of Charles’ grandfather King George VI.

Charles himself has abiding ties to British Jewish leaders and institutions, and has shown a keen interest in the stories and lessons of the Holocaust. He has had warm meetings in recent years with two Israeli presidents and toured the country in a historic 2020 visit.

Below are some of the highlights of the new British monarch’s connection to Jews, the Jewish state, and related matters.

Ties to Israel

In 2020, Charles conducted his first official visit to Israel, after previously making brief trips for the funerals of Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres. He was the most senior member of the royal family to hold such a visit since the establishment of the state, following his son William’s first-ever official royal visit in 2018. The queen never came to Israel.

While in the country to attend the World Holocaust Forum, Charles met with then-president Rivlin and planted a tree at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.

Charles met with a group of Holocaust survivors at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and toured the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. He also attended a reception at the home of the British ambassador in Ramat Gan, where he was shown various Israeli scientific and medical innovations.

Charles’ grandmother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, is buried at the Church of Mary Magdalene on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. During his trip, Charles visited her gravesite and has done so on private visits. …

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