Prince Charles was fiercely criticised last night after it emerged he urged the US to ‘take on the Jewish lobby’ – and blamed ‘the influx of foreign Jews’ for causing unrest in the Middle East.
Writing to his close friend Laurens van der Post in 1986, the Prince makes a startling assessment of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
He argues it was the exodus of European Jews in the middle of the last century that ‘helped to cause the great problems’.
He goes on to say terrorism in the region will only end when its causes are eliminated.
He then expresses the hope a US President will find the courage to stand up to the American ‘Jewish lobby’.
The term ‘Jewish lobby’ is considered by many to be anti-Semitic – suggesting wealthy Jews in the US operate behind the scenes to exercise undue influence over government policy.
Other high-profile figures have been heavily criticised for using the term.
The Prince’s candid letter surfaced in a public archive.
It was written on November 24, 1986, immediately after an official visit the then 38-year-old Prince made to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar with Princess Diana.
He notes the tour was ‘fascinating’ and that he learned ‘a lot about the Middle East and Arab outlook’.
He goes on: ‘Tried to read bit of Koran on way out and it gave me some insight into way they [Arabs] think and operate. Don’t think they could understand us through reading Bible though!
‘Also I now begin to understand better their [Arabs’] point of view about Israel. Never realised they see it as a US colony.
‘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 US president has to have the courage to stand up and take on the Jewish lobby in US? I must be naive, I suppose!’
After the letter surfaced, a Clarence House (the royal residence in London) spokesperson attempted to distance the prince from the views expressed in the letter.
They were “not The Prince’s own views”, but instead reflected the opinions of those he met on his trip.