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November 30, 2014 3:41 pm

Former U.S. National Security Advisor Asks Why British Royals Refuse to Visit Israel


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

The British royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, June 2013. Photo: Carfax2 via Wikimedia Commons.

A senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), in an article published Thursday, asked why Britain’s Royal Family refuses to visit Israel when they make frequent stops throughout the Arab world.

“In just the month of November 2014 we found Prince Andrew and Prince Harry at what the Foreign Office must have considered a diplomatic necessity: the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix,” wrote Elliott Abrams, who worked in both the administrations of George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. “Prince Andrew also visited Saudi Arabia (at the request of the Foreign Office, it was announced). And Prince Harry also visited Oman.” Abrams then pointed out that the Queen has never set foot in Israel and Prince Charles visited the Jewish state only once: for Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral.

According to Abrams, there are only three “logical explanations” for the gross omission. One, he said, is that the Royal Family only likes to visit other royals and tries to stay away from republics. However, Abrams said Prince Charles visited Egypt more than once, “so there goes that theory.”

A second possible explanation is that the Royal Family fears a visit to Israel may harm the United Kingdom and its business with Arab dictators. But such reasoning is absurd, Abrams explained. “Given the current tacit alliance of Israel and the Gulf monarchies against Iran and ISIS, the likelihood that such visits would have harmed the UK is impossibly small.”

Abrams’ final suggestion is that the Royal Family won’t visit Israel because either they or the Foreign Office “harbor deep and undying enmity toward the Jewish state.”

The Council on Foreign Relations is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank and publisher. Other CFR members include Brian Williams, Angelina Jolie and Chuck Hagel.

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