OPINION – Hilik Bar MK: The Prince’s trip was moving and momentous

OPINION – Hilik Bar MK: The Prince’s trip was moving and momentous

The Deputy Speaker of Israel's parliament, the Knesset, reflects on meeting the Duke of Cambridge during his historic Royal tour

MK Hilik Bar meeting Prince William
MK Hilik Bar meeting Prince William

It was exciting to meet Prince William during his historic visit. Not only were the various guests excited to meet the prince, but he himself was also deeply moved by the many visits and meetings he had in Israel.

I was surprised by his patience. He asked questions and gave the impression he was in a personal meeting with
everyone he met.

In the brief conversation I had with him yesterday as the chairman of the Knesset-British Parliament Friendship Group, I told him about my English connection, my grandmother Yael (Jessica Chin), who immigrated to Israel from Liverpool in 1947.

He expressed real interest in the story, asked questions and connected it to things he had to say about Liverpool, including about our president’s admiration for the Liverpool football team.

His ability to develop a conversation from nothing, about almost everything, with anyone, was quite impressive.

One could see that during his visit, Prince William really wanted to “touch” Israel and the Israelis. He talked to people on the street, at the beach, insisted on meeting young leaders and entrepreneurs, and showed a genuine interest in understanding the reality in Israel and in the Middle East.

In his speech at the reception at the British Ambassador’s residence in Israel, he was excited about talking about his great-grandmother, Princess Alice, a righteous among the nations, who saved Jews during the Second World War.

At Yad Vashem, too, the honour he gave in his speech and in the informal private conversations to the memory of the Holocaust and the lessons learned from it, was immense.

There is no doubt that the prince’s visit was successful, meaningful, moving and authentic.

I hope it will strengthen the connections between Israel and the UK, and that it will open the door for more visits to Israel by the royal family.

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