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Prince Charles 1986 letter reveals view on 'Jewish lobby' and 'Arab outlook'

Britain's Prince Charles has warned against intolerance towards refugees fleeing religious persecution
Jack Taylor (POOL/AFP/File)
Prince Charles: "It is the influx of foreign, European Jews, which has helped to cause great problems."

A 1986 letter written by the UK’s Prince Charles emerged on Sunday unexpectedly, revealing his newfound revelations about the Arab-Israeli conflict, understanding of, “Arab outlook” and insight into the “Jewish lobby in [the] US”, following a trip he made to the Gulf almost 30 years ago.

In a November 24 address to Laurens van der Post, an explorer and a friend, Prince Charles wrote that “it is the influx of foreign, European Jews (especially from Poland, they say) which has helped to cause great problems.”

“I know there are so many complex issues, but how can there ever be an end to terrorism unless the causes are eliminated?” he continued, suggesting that the immigration of Jews to the State of Israel could be perceived as a direct cause for the continuation of the conflict.

Thomas Coex (AFP)

The words of the letter are ambiguous and it is not clear if His Royal Highness was referring to the immigration of Jews preceding or following the Holocaust.

The letter, published by The Mail on Sunday, then goes on to refer to the US-Jewish relationship. “Surely some US president has to have the courage to stand up and take on the Jewish lobby in the US?” he pondered. After previously stating that he, “never realized [the Arabs] see [Israel] as a US colony.”

Stephen Pollard, editor of The Jewish Chronicle, cited Prince Charles’s reference to the “Jewish lobby” as the “most astonishing element of the letter,” describing the memo as “jaw-droppingly shocking.” He explains that this controversial term, alluding to the “myth there are these very powerful Jews who control foreign policy or the media or banks” is “one of the anti-Semitic themes that have endured for centuries.”

A spokeswoman for Prince Charles said the letter did not reflect his personal views about the Arab-Israeli issues but instead portrayed a set of opinions by those he engaged with during his visits to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar, where he was accompanied by Princess Diana.


“He was sharing the arguments in private correspondence with a long-standing friend in an attempt to improve his understanding of what he has always recognized is a deeply complex issue to which he was coming early on his own analysis 1986,” his spokesperson said.

Reiterating his support for interfaith dialogue and cultural understanding, she expressed that the Prince, “has built a proven track record of support for both Jewish and Arab communities around the world” and “has continued his study of the complex and difficult themes he referenced” in the letter.

Whilst, “no British royal has ever made an official visit to Israel,” as stated by the Royals Visits Committee, there have been a number of personal trips made to pay respects to well-known Israeli statesmen. Prince Charles attended deceased President Shimon Peres' funeral last year, having previously appeared at Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral back in 1994. Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh also attended a ceremony at Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives where his mother Alice of Battenberg is buried.

According to the UK's The Sun, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’s invitation for the Prince to visit Israel during the Balfour Declaration centennial was cancelled, “to avoid upsetting Arab nations in the region who regularly host UK Royals.”


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