Prince Charles' Letter From 1986 Blamed Jews for Unrest in Middle East

British Jewish leaders take specific issue with Prince Charles' use of the 'Jewish lobby' phrase, which they say has been used as an anti-Semitic pejorative for centuries

Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales in London on November 11, 2017
Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales in London on November 11, 2017 STEFAN ROUSSEAU/AFP

A letter penned by Prince Charles in 1986 blamed the "influx of foreign Jews" for tension in the Middle East, and asked the U.S. president to stand up to the "Jewish lobby," reported the Daily Mail.

Prince Charles has come under fire for the letter, with some calling the usage of the phrase "Jewish lobby" anti-Semitic. Stephen Pollard, editor of the British Jewish Chronicle, wrote that the term has been used by anti-Semites for centuries and called the letter "jaw-droppingly shocking."

The letter's text reads, "I now appreciate that Arabs and Jews were all a Semitic people originally and it is the influx of foreign, European Jews (especially from Poland, they say) which has helped to cause great problems. I know there are so many complex issues, but how can there ever be an end to terrorism unless the causes are eliminated? Surely some U.S. president has to have the courage to stand up and take on the Jewish lobby in U.S.? I must be naive, I suppose!"

The letter, which surfaced in a public archive on Sunday, was written to Afrikaner explorer Laurens van der Post and discussed Prince Charles' understanding of the Middle East.

No member of the British royal family has ever come to Israel in an official capacity. Prince Charles visited last October to attend former President Shimon Peres' funeral, and took the opportunity to go to the Mount of Olives. There, in the Church of Mary Magdalene, he paid a secret visit to the grave of his paternal grandmother.

The burial site is in East Jerusalem, which Israel captured during the Six-Day War and later annexed, but Britain does not recognize it as part of the country. Charles' visit to the grave went unreported in the Israeli media, and neither his Facebook page nor his press team released a statement about it.