Prince Charles: Hatred and intolerance still lurk in the human heart
JERUSALEM (Agencies): The United Kingdom’s Prince Charles tells the World Holocaust Forum memorial event in Jerusalem: “It is a particular honor, although one of the most solemn kind, to be here today on behalf of the United Kingdom, to remember all those lost in the Shoah.”
In Israel on his first official visit to the country, he says: “It is of particular significance that we should gather here in Israel, where so many that sought shelter from the Holocaust found refuge.”
He says the fact that his grandmother Princess Alice saved a Jewish family and is counted as one of the Righteous Among the Nations “gives me and my family immense pride.”
Prince Charles urges his listeners to “recommit ourselves to tolerance and respect.”
“Hatred and intolerance still lurk in the human heart, tell new lies and seek new victims. All to often language is used to mark others as enemies, to brand those who are different as somehow deviant,” he says. “Knowing as we do, the darkness that such beliefs can bring, we must never rest in seeking to create mutual understanding and respect.”
His first stop on Thursday was the official Jerusalem residence of Rivlin in Jerusalem, where he planted a tree.
Rivlin thanked the prince for his attendance at the World Holocaust Forum, stressing the need to fight Jew-hatred.
“We know where anti-Semitism starts. It starts with the Jewish people. But we never know where it ends,” Rivlin said during a brief photo-op. “This gathering will show that when we are united, we can fight this ugly phenomenon,” the president added, referring to the Forum’s main event, a memorial ceremony at Yad Vashem later on Thursday, which will be attended by nearly 50 world leaders from across the globe.
Rivlin noted that his life had begun 80 years ago in Jerusalem as a citizen of the British Mandate of Palestine.
“I was born as a subject of your grandfather King George VI,” the president told the prince.
“And when I was in high school, your mother became the Queen of England. I still remember these days. I still remember the day that you took down the British flag and we put on the Israeli flag after the establishment of our state in 1948.”
“We’re still expecting your mother to come. I am sure she will come,” Rivlin told Charles, referring to Queen Elizabeth II.
However, Britain’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis later said that a visit by the Queen was likely not in the cards as she does not travel anymore.
Charles told Rivlin that he was “enormously grateful for your wonderfully kind words,” adding that he fondly remembers his previous trips to Israel.
After the press was asked to leave, the two men met privately for about 20 minutes, after which they went to the President’s Residence’s garden to plant an English oak.
Also, Russian President Vladimir Putin tells the World Holocaust Forum memorial event in Jerusalem that “this remembrance is our shared responsibility to the past and the future.”
“We mourn for all the victims of the Nazis, including six million Jews,” he says. “These death camps were operated not just by Nazis but by their henchmen in various countries.”
Putin says Russian “paid the highest price, more than any other.
Twenty-seven million Russians were killed. That is the price of victory.”
He says “We need to find the courage not just to speak about anti-Semitism but also to do everything in our power to protect Jews.”