Charles, convince us
Clarence House is at pains to emphasis Prince Charles’s close relations with the Jewish community. Not only is he a patron of the Jewish Museum, but he supports World Jewish Relief and Krakow’s Jewish community centre. However, emails reproduced in the this week raise serious questions about both the culture within his office and assumptions that senior staff seem to hold about the Jewish state. They are even more troubling when one considers that, just two weeks ago, the Prince’s mother hosted a glittering state banquet for Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, attended by the senior British royals. Of course, they are old friends of their Saudi counterparts, and frequent visitors to other Muslim states. Indeed, in February, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall spent 10 days touring the Arabian peninsula. So would it not be diplomatic for the Royal Household to signal now that, despite suspicions to the contrary, there really is no political, ideological or (dare we say) faithrelated barrier to their organising the first official royal trip to Israel? We are not suggesting that the Prince himself influenced his aide’s distasteful email. And we accept that the outgoing ambassador’s direct approach to the Prince’s aides bypassed the usual Foreign Office channels (although we cannot fault his more direct approach to hasbara). Yet if Charles is to be a “defender of faiths”, as he has stressed, he should understand the deep attachment most Jews have for Israel, and go and see it for himself. The perfect opportunity is about to present itself. If the Prince wants to show goodwill, he should visit Israel next May as part of its sixtieth-anniversary celebrations. Why, we would even cover it on our front page.