From Royal Wedding to Royal Snub

The Queen has never been to Israel. Neither has any other British royal. Could Will and Kate be the first?

Published: April 30th 2011
in News » World

Sir. Winston Churchill greeting Boy and Girl Scouts - 1921 - in Israel.

In 1920, one of the greatest war-time leaders of all time, and a man who served two terms as British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill wrote, "We owe to the Jew."


Apparently, what the Brits owed to the Jews was anything but a visit or two to the state of Israel. At the risk of being a royal downer in the wake of the Royal Wedding, as I sipped my daily cup of tea (Diet Coke) while eating some kippers (hot dogs) and watching the proceedings on the telly (telly) it suddenly donned on me. I realized that during her current reign of close to 60 years – more of a monsoon than a reign, really - Queen Elizabeth II has visited 129 countries, 14 of them Arab, yet, she has never placed a royal foot in the Jewish Homeland.


In fact, No British royal has ever paid a state visit to Israel, although Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, did visit Yad Vashem in Jerusalem in 1994, but that was to attend a ceremony honoring his mother, Princess Alice of Greece, for saving Greek Jews during the Second World War.


So, why the royal snub, Liz?


According to the eminent historian Andrew Roberts, the British government had a de facto ban in place on state visits by Queen Elizabeth II to Israel.


“The true reason of course, is that the Foreign Office has a ban on official royal visits to Israel, which is even more powerful for its being unwritten and unacknowledged,” Robert told attendees at a 2009 gala dinner in London. “As an act of delegitimization of Israel, this effective boycott is quite as serious as other similar acts, such as the academic boycott, and is the direct fault of the FO Arabists. It is, therefore, no coincidence that although the queen has made over 250 official overseas visits to 129 different countries during her reign, neither she nor one single member of the British royal family has ever been to Israel on an official visit,” Roberts told a gala dinner in London. Roberts, who said that Britain had been at best “a fair-weather friend” to Israel has penned biographies of British Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and prime Neville Chamberlain, as well as Hitler and Roosevelt.


“Perhaps her majesty hasn’t been on the throne long enough for the Foreign Office to get round to allowing her to visit one of the only democracies in the Middle East,” said Roberts, tongue firmly planted in cheek.


Hopefully the newest British Royal Darlings, Prince William and his beautiful bride, Kate, will take it upon themselves to hit fast forward and bring the Monarchy into the 21st century. Come on, kids, why not take a stroll on a Tel Aviv beach, or on the streets of magnificent Jerusalem? Hell, I can’t think of a more perfect location for a royal honeymoon than the breathtaking Eilat.


Wherever it is, the Royal Family owes Sir Winston Churchill some respect, and for his sake, stop “owing” the Jews, and just pay us already and let El Al do the rest.

Related articles: (Royal Family, Queen Elizabeth, Prince William, Kate Middelton, Israel, )

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