Israel’s president Reuven Rivlin has paid tribute to Prince Philip’s “honour and duty” and the links his family forged between the British and Israeli people.
In a letter of condolence to Queen Elizabeth, he said the Duke of Edinburgh’s service fighting the Axis powers would never be forgotten and that his mother Princess Alice provided a further connection.
“We are proud that she is recognized as one of the Righteous Amongst the Nations. Her burial here in Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives links the stories of our peoples even more closely,” the president wrote.
He also recounted Philip’s remarks at Yad Vashem during a trip to Jerusalem in 1994, when he became the first senior royal to visit Israel and recounted the lessons he learned from his mother.
Rivlin quoted the Duke as saying: “‘We may dislike individual people, we may disagree with their politics and opinions, but that should never allow us to condemn their whole community simply because of the race or religion of its members.
“‘The Holocaust may be over, but there are altogether too many examples in the world today of man’s capacity for inhumanity.’”
Rivlin added: “How true, and how sad.”
The letter to the Queen was written last week, hours after Prince Philip passed away, but only released to the public on Tuesday.
“In Jewish tradition, we console mourners with the phrases ‘may his memory be a blessing’, and ‘I wish you a long life’,” the president added.
“I hope they are a consolation to you.”
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
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