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British Royal To Visit Israel (11/11/2016)

The Times of Israel reported on Tuesday that a historic visit by a "senior" royal family member to Israel was in the works

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Prince Charles attends the funeral of Shimon Peres at Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem (Source: Abir Sultan/AP)

A senior member of the British royal family is planning a visit to Israel during the centennial of the Balfour Declaration, reports The Times of Israel. Although members of the royal family have traveled to Israel in the past, this would be the first official “royal tour” of the country in its 68 years of existence.

According to an article published on Tuesday, a “UK Jewish community leader” said that the details of this historic visit have not been “finalized”, but that it would include a senior member of the royal family.

There has been no confirmation from the royal family, nor from the Israeli Foreign Ministry, which only said that “any planned tours will be announced in the usual way,” but Board of Deputies president Jonathan Arkush did admit, “the board has been making discreet but firm representations for some time and it seems they have borne fruit” upon hearing the news.

Although Prince Charles visited Jerusalem to attend the funeral of Shimon Peres in September, an official visit differs in that it typically includes meeting a number of dignitaries, tours of cultural landmarks and appearances charitable events. Arkush claims to have floated the idea for an official visit to Prince Charles during the funeral, but said, “he’s a professional up to his fingertips. It’s not his decision.” Arkush was perhaps referencing that it is the British government, not the royal family, which arranges these trips.

There has been no clear indication that a royal visit is taking place to directly celebrate the signing of the Balfour Declaration, and the British government has made a point to avoid a royal visit to Israel since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank began in 1967. “Until there is a settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the royal family can’t really go there,” a British government source told The Telegraph last December.

The Balfour Declaration (source: Wikipedia)

The Palestinian Authority would likely protest an official visit, especially if it is to commemorate the document in which the British Empire gave “without any right, authority or consent form anyone, the land of Palestine to another people,” according to PA president Mahmoud Abbas.

A visit during this time would also coincide with General Allenby’s victory at the Battle of Jerusalem over the Ottoman Empire in 1914.

The Israeli government has made many offers to host the royal family over the years and been flustered over the repeated refusals, especially as Queen Elizabeth has visited 117 countries during her reign, including Israel’s regional adversaries Saudi Arabia and Iran. It looks like they may have finally got their wish.


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2. David Author in 16/11/2016:
during her reign not rain! LOL

1. Melvyn m Author in 16/11/2016:
Not before time

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