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November 30, 2014 3:41 pm

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

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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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  • Justin Thakray

    Why whenever I read anything concerning Britain do a load of sniping comments about our alleged anti semitism follow?

    We’re not. As far as I am aware. The only anti Jewish slur I have ever heard came out of the mouth of a Jewish friend and he gets a pass because he’s Jewish.

    I doubt the foreign office is anti Jewish. Foreign policy is pro Israel, whereas public sentiment tends to indifference. Jews are well integrated into our political class.

    Consider this.

    There have been numerous Jewish mps and ministers from Disraeli through Edwina Curry through Michael Howard, Malcolm Rifkind and the Millibands.

    The first and only Muslim minister was Baroness Warsi.

    There’s a Rabbi in the house of Lords. There’s no Imam.

    Ratio of Muslims/Jews in Britain? 10/1.


    You cannot win.

  • It has been stated openly on several occasions that the Queen does not visit states at war, e.g. the Sovereign did not visit the Irish Republic for about 90 years, although it’s our nearest neighbour. Prince Philip’s mother is buried in Jerusalem and is a Righteous among the Nations for hiding a Jewish family in the royal palace in Nazi-occupied Athens. Prince Philip has been to Israel several times. A few years back Prince Philip and Prince Edward hosted an Israel Anniversary dinner in Windsor Castle and Prince Charles has attended Israel Anniversary Services in London synagogues. The Royals, including the Queen, have been Patrons of various Jewish charitable causes.

  • American

    Why would anyone want to visit Apartheid Israel anyway?

  • matt mclaughlin

    wring those Royal hands!

  • TheAZCowBoy

    OMG! The pariah Jews are wondering why the ‘Royals’ never visit their blood soaked 1/2 acre of Jewish ‘Camelot!’ (Hell?)

    Could it be that Gifilte fish smell on their breath?

    Oh, it’s the baby Palestinian blood stains on their IDF’er’s boots, huh?

    • Ed Tashjian

      Or it could be that they are afraid that the lying radical Muslims cannot be counted on to keep their word and not attack them during one of their routine shellings of Israel. The ones that attacked are Muslim not Jewish. The ones that are killing Christians and Jews and even Muslims that do not agree are Muslims not Jews. The ones that stone their own women to death are Muslim not Jewish. The ones that kidnap women and sell them into sexual slavery are Muslims not Jews. The ones who strap bombs to their children are Muslims not Jews and so on and so on. But you already know this and continue to lie about the problems. Oh yeah, the Wuran says it is ok to lie to the Infidel to get what you want so why should anything you say be taken seriously. If you are a true Muslim or Muslim supporter, it is OK to lie.

      • Ed Tashjian

        If you are going to moderate my post, just take it down. I do not want someone interpreting my words. I understand the language and said exactly what I meant.

      • geoff

        Ed, you expressed yourself very moderately, in view of the uncivilised nature of conduct by muslims. I agree with you, of course, as all right thinking people do.

      • Nicole

        Well said!

  • British restrictions and blockade on Jewish immigration to Palestine 1938-1948 caused the death of over 2 million Jews trying to escape German extermination camps.
    The British in 1922 gave away in violation of the Mandate 77% of the land in Palestine allocated for the Jewish people to the Arabs as the State named Jordan of which 80% of the population is Arab-Palestinians. This is the Palestinian State and no other.
    British actions in Palestine during the Mandate 1918-1948 are the cause of the continued violence and terrorism in the Middle East. The British wanted to control the oil in the Middle East and they were willing and did cross anyone to accomplish their goals. In today’s time in history, nothing has changed.
    In less than 20 years England and the rest of Europe will be controlled by Muslims with Sharia laws in place.
    Prohibiting Jews for residing anywhere where the map of Mandate for Palestine territory of 1920 is a violation of International Law and the San Remo Treaty which was adopted by the League of Nations in 1920.
    Any housing, factories, goods and services produced by Jews in the area that was designated as the Mandate for Palestine is granted by the International agreements and treaties of the 1918-1920, which are in affect for perpetuity.
    Israel’s 2nd war of liberation of 1967 debunking the notion that Israel is an occupier
    YJ Draiman

    • TheAZCowBoy

      C’mon now, you know Kahzaria is your stompping grounds!

      Not occupiers, huh?
      Not ‘baby killers, huh?
      Better tune into Jewish CNN and get the facts, schmucks!

      • theo

        Baby killers ? Since when ?
        You believe the scenes where Palestinians see the camera crew and then rush to pick up a child and run with it so that idiots like you will believe Israel was responsible
        Now why would Israeli hospitals treat Gazans with first rate attention if they were the epitome of evil
        Come to think of it why would they attempt to rush to Israeli hospitals knowing they could be shot in the back by Hamas ,their own members

      • Susan Christensen

        It’s clear you will not be persuaded by history or facts in evidence. It’s okay to rant anti-semetic b.s., but you run the risk of becoming irrelevant.

        Susan Christensen

  • theo

    An afterthought : the future Queen of England has Jewish blood in her veins to spare
    Who would have thought

    • Christian girl, lover of Jewish people

      Excuse me? What future queen of england? Maybe Kate the Great, but noone else is even acting like a Jewish person, much less being one. Besides, there won’t be a future queen until Kate the Great takes it on. So, let’s cut the non-kosher junk.

      • American

        Zionism is racism. Israelis steal land belonging to the Palestinian people.

  • victoria brandeis



    • American

      Your supremacist views are duly noted.

  • Vivienne Leijonhufvud (goldie)

    HRH Charlie boy spends far too much time playing polo in Arab republics. However, with the price of OIL dropping rapidly perhaps the UK will see sense.

    HM II could do a lot of good by visiting Israel, no doubt Israel will offer to provide excellent accommodation in most prestigious residence in Israel. I believe she would find Mr & Mrs BBN excellent hosts who would provide scintillating company and show her the sites. The foreign office in UK should pushing for this not pandering to Arab Sheikhs who aren’t genuine royalty. Just a bunch of tribesman who’ve been around since the time of Lawrence of Arabia. Were Churchill still alive he would have insisted. Her presence in Israel would certainly show the Arabs they are not the only power in the middle east — who frankly will need to turn to Israel when Iran starts its shannigins. After all the dear old girl went to the Republic of Ireland two years ago and what a success. Her majesty looks lovely in blue matches her eyes and white hair. So I hope she has Parliaments permission to make the trip to the Holy land after all she is the Head of the Church of England. A Christmas trip would be marvellous for her maybe next year.

  • ate dege

    The third suggestion is the right one.
    The Foreign Office has always been a hotbed of hatred against the Jewish people.

    • geoff

      Absolutely right.

  • Saul Issroff

    It should be noted that prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has visited Israel. His mother, Princess alice (Andrrew) of Battenburg was a ‘righteous Amongst the nations’ and after her death at Buckingham Palce her body was was reinterred on the Mount of Olives.
    “On 31 October 1994, Princess Andrew’s two surviving children, the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess George of Hanover, went to Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Memorial) in Jerusalem to witness a ceremony honouring her as “Righteous among the Nations” for having hidden the Cohens in her house in Athens during the Second World War.[54][55] Prince Philip said of his mother’s sheltering of persecuted Jews, “I suspect that it never occurred to her that her action was in any way special. She was a person with a deep religious faith, and she would have considered it to be a perfectly natural human reaction to fellow beings in distress.”[56] In 2010, the Princess was posthumously named a Hero of the Holocaust by the British Government.[57]”


    • Linda Sagan

      God Bless Princess Alice.

  • Shane

    Nobody gets it. Unbelievable.

  • theo

    The British are Oh so keen to tap into Israel’s burgeoning technology advances yet regard Israel as untouchable as far as a royal visit is concerned
    This brings to mind the old expression of “perfidious Anglia ”
    Enough said !

  • Lauren Goldman

    They haven’t gotten over 1948, and they do tend to get a bit snippy when they lose things (such as their colonial Empire).

  • American

    Perhaps the royals realize how criminal the Israelis are and want to stay away from the Israeli land thieves as possible.

    • hypocratus

      An American talking about “land thieves” – how ironic. When you planning on returning your home to the natives and paying reparations to Blacks?

      • hillel

        Here, here. You hypocrites, give your lands back to the indigenous populations of the America’s and reparations to the black slaves, enslaved and sold by the muslims, I might add, or “hush your mouth, ya’all”

        • American

          Return all the tax money you take from us each year, Israeli leeches.

          • Spadalight

            Us Jews have survived for 5 thousand years without your American bucks- Cowboy- Why? Because we have superior brain power. We,ve been forced to live on our wits through unbroken persecution from ignorant Clannies like you- you sorry mess! What have you and your cohorts ever have achieved- Race riots 2015!! Congrats

    • Perhaps the Anglo-Saxons should give lower Britain (a.k.a. Engalnd) back to the Celts whom they forced into Wales.

  • It is perfectly clear why the British royal family have not visited Israel: the status of Jerusalem. Abrams did not mention the fact that the Duke of Edinburgh’s mother is buried at a convent in Jaffa, and he has been on private visits to her grave. I am sure that Arab pressure to prevent such a visit is also at work. I suggest that if the Queen and other royal family members visit Jordan, they could pop in to Israel and why aren’t they among the foreign dignitaries seen at Independence Day?

  • Excepting only Lord Balfour’s declaration, UK’s history vis-à-vis Israel makes this conclusion of the CFR most
    compelling. Sad to say from a Western democratic country.

  • There are conspiracy theory websites that claim the British Royal Family is Jewish. Maybe this is true and the Royal Family don’t want to be seen mixing with the hoi polloi, just as the German Jews did not want to mix with the Ostjuden.

  • Jonah

    England is not England anymore. It has now become a satellite of Islam. If they were to visit Israel the Muslim jihadists would burn their castle. Legend has it that they are decendants from mannasseh and Epraim, if this is true they have Egyption lineage along with the fact that their kingdom now belongs to Islam whether they want to admit it or not. They are nothing but a puppet regime allowed to keep their heads as long as they tow the line. All nations when conquered are allowed to keep a residual of appearance for the masses and visiting Israel is not very high on their list of ….or should I say Israel is personna non grata, you should never anticipate a visitation from british royalty unless it is part of an Islamic scheme to weaken you.

  • Howie Subnick

    How does this sound, “They Hate The Jews”. Check out the face on the Queen. Does it look like she likes anyone?

  • Ron

    There have traditionally been more “Arabists” in the Foreign Office than supporters of Israel.

    Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, defenders of liberty and human rights, who report factually on Islamic acts of terror and their motivation – the Qur’an – have been banned from the UK. Teresa May’s letter claimed that their presence in the UK would “not be conducive to the public good”. As part of their ongoing legal challenge to this ban, which as an Englishman I regard as a national disgrace, documents provided to them under disclosure rules show that the real reason is that the Foreign Office regards them as being too supportive of Israel.

    At the outset of the Yom Kippur War the UK froze all spare parts and ammunition supplies for the Centurion tanks then used by the Israeli army, the time when they were most needed. Hence the development of the Merkava MBT.

    It is likely that it is the Foreign Offices’ influence that prevents royal visits to Israel, which is in fact the only real democracy in the Middle East.

  • Ari Dale

    Pour me a stiff cup of tea. Whatever shall we do.- Ari Dale, Israel

    • Tim

      stiff whiskey – strong tea 🙂

  • Steven U Teitelbaum

    They are anti-semitic bastards

    • American

      The real Semites are the Palestinian people.

  • Alex R-

    I am still thankful for Lord Balfour’s 1922 Declaration in his White Paper.

    Other than that, there is very little, if any, to say regarding the British historical behavior and official policies towards the Jews. For that matter, Europe as a whole.

    Is there a square foot of European territory free of Jewish blood on its ground?

  • Joe Bernardo

    PS: My point was that the one forgivable reason for the royals to skip Israel would be that while they couldn’t skip a visit to the tomb of the queen’s mother-in-law, that visit would remind their subjects that she’s buried in a Catholic church while her daughter-in-law is head of the Church of England.
    On the other hand, if their reasons are political, then let’s blame the Israeli govt’ foremost for failing to make its case on the legality of Jewish sovereignty west of the Jordan.

  • Joe Bernardo

    Prince Philip’s mother is buried in Jerusalem at the Church of Gethsemane. Even more absurd than for him not to visit Israel it’d have been for him to visit Jerusalem and not his mother’s tomb.
    But alas, it’s a Catholic church and it is in East Jerusalem which the UK doesn’t recognize as part of Israel. Easy to blame the world and the UK for their perfidy in not recognizing Jewish sovereignty over the Old Jerusalem from which Jews who lived there from time immemorial were ethnically cleansed in 1948 by Jordanian soldiers commanded by British officers. But it doesn’t help them connect with whatever inner sense of justice they may have when the government of Israel, all of them, including prior to Oslo, fail to make the case that Jewish settlement in all the territory currently controlled by Israel is legal not only according to international law but also according to Islamic law. All it’d take is a search on Wikipedia for ‘Muslim Zionists’. A feat that is apparently beyond the skills set of the successive governments of the national state of the people with the highest average IQ.

  • Eric R.

    Remember that Queen Elizabeth’s grandfather, Edward VIII, was forced to abdicate because British intelligence knew of his contacts with, and sympathy for, the Nazis. (The story about his abdicating to marry Ms. Simpson, also a Nazi sympathizer, was a cover for the abdication.)

    Further, three generations later, Prince Harry got in trouble, as I recall, for wearing a Nazi uniform and making Nazi salutes at a costume party.

    So I think the third reason – they are Jew-haters – is likely the real reason.

  • As a reply to Mr Abrams,the answers may be in two books:
    Jonathan Schneer’s THE BALFOUR DECLARATION
    David Fromkin’s bookS

  • David/USA

    I frankly have no desire to visit the Brits either due to their Antisemitic attitude. Who cares if the British Royals come to visit Israel or not? let them go visit their “friends” in the Arab and Moslem world and let them prepare for their “friends” takeover of Londostan,soon.

    • American

      The real Semites are the Palestinian people. You are worshiping fake Hebrews from Europe.

  • Bill

    Who cares if the Royals go to Israel.

  • Andre Setton

    The Royal Family makes a very simple calculation: There is no upside to visiting Israel (Israelis don’t care, British subjects, other than Jews, don’t care) but there might be a serious downside to visiting Israel, i.e. protests by millions of Muslims throughout Britain and the Commonwealth. It is a very simple, practical (yet profoundly immoral of course) calculation.

  • Jerry G

    Simple explanation. The Royal family are anti-Semites.

    • Michael

      Judging by the comments on Algemeiner, isn’t every gentile anti-semitic?

    • American

      The real Semites are the Palestinians.

  • Bonnie Geller

    Is the writer not aware that the Royal family is by extension part of the “chattering” class(the historical upper class) in a very class conscious society in Britain. They have been anti-Semites for a thousand years and are not shy of voicing their opinions today as well. They are lovers of the “fantasy” of Arab sheiks and many upper class women are married to Arab sheiks, princes, kings and the like. They love them, admire them, do business with them and sleep with them. Why then would the Royal family have anything to do with Jews and Israel when they think of them as despised hateful underlings?

  • yussie

    They are a fantasy joke….mickey and minnie are more relevant….

    • Amy

      Still the Yanks love them.

      • American

        Not all of us love the land-stealing Khazars.

  • Steve Wenick

    The royals are rightfully ashamed to visit Israel after what their countrymen did to Jews during the Second World War by prohibiting them to find safe haven in what was then called Palestine.

  • Harry Melkman

    The reason, I think, is quite straight forward. The Anglican Church is a state church with the King at its head. The christian tenet cannot recognize a jewish state.

  • Leo Toystory

    There may be reason to think that their deep and undying enmity doesn’t stop with just the Jewish state, but extends to the Jewish people, as well. The same can be said for over half of the British people.

    • American

      If Jews want to be liked they should oppose the Israeli war crimes. Nobody likes a baby killer and land thief.

  • Julian Clovelley

    I think it is purely a security matter. Britain is not an antisemitic country. The security protocols are very strict indeed. Unless they are on active military service, Royal family members are not flown into potential war zones. The ordinary British people – whether Royalist inclined or not – won’t allow them to be thus endangered. There has long been a relationship of mutual protection between the Windsor Family and the British people, of whatever racial origin or political colour. Question the institution they might, but look after the family is something they will always do. I think it should be that way.

    The Royal family is often in the company of the nation’s Jewish people. Being “Jewish” isn’t a big thing to us and long hasn’t been. Most of us who grew up there, did so without noticing any difference. We were right…

    In Australia, where I now live, it is much the same, maybe more so. All people are worthy of love. Irritating I may well find the institution of monarchy – but may they all have happy and long lives.

    (But preferably, one day, in a Republic)

  • judithg

    the “royals” are only a puppet show but it would be classy of them to visit Israel (even though we got rid of them , something for which they have never forgiven Israel). on the other hand, the grotesquely stupid prince harry, would be very unwelcome. in his last public Jew hating stunt, he appeared at a halloween party costumed in a nazi uniform. the media reported it for one day and then of course promptly forgot to remember.

  • The “royal family” like so many leftists (yes I say “leftists” – you just have to look at their fat real estate and financial portfolio to know they are of the left ) have been culturally sodomised by islam. The late mother of the future king was even “embedded” with them.

  • Norm

    Prince Phillip once visited because he went to see his mothers grave. She died there

    • American

      Was she killed by the Irgun or was she bombed at the King David Hotel?

  • Alan Bly

    I can’t say that this conclusion is warranted. To be sure, there’s enormous antipathy toward Israel throughout the United Kingdom (THE reason why I had cancelled a well-planned trip there this past summer and opted to go to Italy instead.) I don’t know that this antipathy to Jews and or Israel is attributable to the Royal Family. Most likely, it’s that there’s a good measure of fear on the Royal Family’s part that showing any friendship, amity, or goodwill toward Israel would inevitably result in the Jew/Israel-haters demonstrating against the Royal Family and bring unwanted attention to them. I thing that there’s a tablespoon of cowardice in that, but I like to think, that anti-Semitism doesn’t appear significantly that equation.

  • art frank

    In addition to their lame excuses, the “royal” family, like most of the british aristocracy, is, and has been, for centuries, anti-Semitic.

    • Justin Thakray


  • mark roseman

    Might the answer be dietary? I mean, well, kosher brisket can’t compare with British roast beef! (Maybe brisket is safer than a recent history of British bovine disease?)

    Oh well, at least The Jewish state predates Britain by a thousand years.

  • Chernasky

    And Israelis should care…?

  • G Bern

    The Foreign Office have never forgotten the humiliation they suffered in 1948 when they cut and ran and will never forgive Israel.

    • American

      Israel has seen its best days. Good riddance.

      • Linda Sagan

        Don’t call yourself American, your very essence is a large pile of dung. You are nothing but a Fascist!

  • NCS

    Abrams final suggestion sounds accurate.

  • Just to note that His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has visited Israel UNOFFICIALLY.

    His mother, Princess Andrew of Greece (1885 – 1969) is buried at the Convent of St. Mary Magdalene on the Mount of Olives.

    On the 31st Oct 1994, The Duke visited his mother’s grave and Yad VaShem. His mother sheltered Jews during World War 2. She is heralded as a ‘Righteous among the Gentiles’.

  • Ilbert Phillips

    While one cannot deny the great contribution the British, in the past, have made to bring about democracy in the English speaking countries of the world (e.g. Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica)and even India, the same cannot be said for the Muslim world. In addition, while responsible for the Balfor Declaration which led to the League of Nations San Remo Declaration that led to the creation of the state of Israel, the British as a nation never enthusiastically embraced Israel.

  • Hillel

    I would venture the latter.

  • Lana Drennan

    This is a question that demands an answer. Israel deserves a hand extended in friendship not a slap in the face. This American gentile stands loudly and proudly with Israel. There is no reasonable explanation why Great Britain and the USA don’t do the same.