After Prime Minister Netanyahu invited Prince Charles to Israel at the Paris Climate Conference, British sources supposedly made clear Israel would not be graced by the presence of the British Royal family in the near future, ostensibly due to the unresolved conflict with the Palestinians.
The British Royal family has reportedly snubbed an invitation by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit Israel.
The UK’s Telegraph reported Saturday that Netanyahu met Prince Charles in the corridors of the Paris Climate Conference last week and invited him then, but Britain perceives such a visit as diplomatically charged, and therefore such a visit is not viable in the near future.
Since Israel’s reestablishment as a modern state, no member of the Royal family has ever visited in an official capacity, although some have done so in a private capacity, even though Israeli leaders have visited the UK on several occasions and it is the custom to reciprocate such gestures.
While Prince Charles and others have occasionally set foot in Israel, Buckingham Palace and the British Government were quick to stress they were personal visits and not official ones, the Telegraph reported.
The rejected invitations are eyebrow-raising for Israelis, especially as the Royal family has visited questionable destinations such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which have a bleak record when it comes to respecting human rights.
“We’re the only democracy in the Middle East and so you ask why do the Royals go to the Arab dictatorships around us, but they don’t come here?” an unnamed Israeli official asked the Telegraph.
A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said: “All overseas visits by members of the Royal family are undertaken on the advice of the British Government,” and reflect foreign policy priorities, and are therefore considered sensitive, although British political leaders have been in Israel.
The Foreign Office declined to comment, but the Telegraph quotes “British officials” who say there are too many “political landmines” in the way of a visit to a country that they believe occupies Palestinian territory and lives within disputed borders.
“Until there is a settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the Royal family can’t really go there,” said one Whitehall source.
“There have been state visits by Israel, which just involves dealing with the Head of State, but in Israel so much politics is caught up in the land itself that it’s best to avoid those complications altogether by not going there.”
“For the foreseeable future, the prospects of a Royal visit to Israel seem dim, especially as the peace process with the Palestinians continues to stagnate,” the Telegraph concludes.
By: United with Israel Staff
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