Prince Charles to meet Shoah survivors and President Rivlin during Israel visit
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Prince Charles to meet Shoah survivors and President Rivlin during Israel visit

Heir to the throne will visit Yad Vashem and Bethlehem during historic two-day tour to the Holy Land this month

Justin Cohen is the News Editor at the Jewish News

Prince Charles
Prince Charles

Prince Charles will meet British Holocaust survivors, hold talks with President Reuven Rivlin and make the first official visit to Bethlehem during an historic two-day tour to Israel and the Palestinian Territories this month.

The World Holocaust Forum at Yad Vashem will be the centrepiece of a tour to Israel and the Palestinian Territories – the highest level official Royal visit to the region.

The heir to the throne has previously visited in private capacity for the funerals of Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres.

The visit marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and global leaders leaders including Emmanuel Macron, Vladimir Putin and America’s Vice President Mike Pence will gather at Yad Vashem for the World Holocaust Forum.

His Royal Highness is “delighted” to be one of only five international figures to deliver a speech And will lay a wreath, according to a spokesman.

The Prince has long taken an interest in supporting survivors in the UK and abroad – from hosting various receptions from Kindertransport evacuees to being the driving force behind the creation of a community centre in Krakow. He is also patron of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. The spokesman said he was “very much looking forward to meeting” survivors travelling to in Israel for the event, many of whom he’s met before to further a relationship he greatly “values”.

They added he would also undertake a a number of engagements to further to “deep personal interest in Judaism and Jewish culture and celebrate the vibrancy of the bilateral relationship”.

This will include a reception at the residence of British Ambassador Neil Wigan.

He will also visit the Shrine of the Book and travel to the West Bank to meet President Mahmoud Abbas On the final leg on the tour. He will visit Bethlehem as part of his commitment to religious freedom and interest in interfaith relations.

A foreign office spokesman suggested he wouldn’t follow in the footsteps of his son The Duke of Cambridge I’m visiting the Kotel. He said there was a aim to “maximise engagement and not duplicate”.

The visit is being undertaken at the invitation of Rivlin but there “may be engagement” with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the margins of the World Holocaust Forum.

The Prince of Wales will travel to Tel Aviv from Davos where he will launch the Sustainable Markets Council with the support of the World Economic Forum. It will bring together leading figures from the private, public and philanthropic sectors to find ways to decarbonise their global economy.

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