King holds talks with Chief Rabbi at Palace over ‘horrors’ in Israel

Charles welcomed Sir Ephraim Mirvis, a day after the King condemned the ‘barbaric acts of terrorism’ of Hamas’ attacks.

The King has held talks with the Chief Rabbi at Buckingham Palace to discuss the horrors of events in Israel and how to support interfaith harmony in Britain in distressing and difficult times.

Charles welcomed Sir Ephraim Mirvis for a private audience in the London royal residence on Thursday afternoon as the Israel-Hamas conflict continued to gather pace.

The King personally expressed his deep care and concern for the Jewish community in the UK who are suffering grief, fear and anguish.

Audience at Buckingham Palace
The King welcomes the Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis to Buckingham Palace (Yui Mok/PA)

Their conversation is said to have covered the horrors of recent events in Israel, ways to support interfaith harmony in Britain in distressing and dangerous times, and the continued hope that a path to peace can be found internationally.

It comes a day after Charles’ condemnation of Hamas’ “barbaric acts of terrorism” in Israel attacks at the weekend, with the Palace saying the King is being actively updated on developments.

The King also spoke to Israeli President Isaac Herzog by telephone on Wednesday, offering his thoughts and prayers to all those suffering.

At least 100 people – reservists and active duty soldiers in the Israel Defence Forces – are believed to have travelled from the UK to Israel to serve in the Israeli military as it mounts a retaliatory campaign against Hamas.

Israel Palestinians
Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on Thursday (Hatem Moussa/AP/PA)

Concerns remain high for the safety of British citizens in the region as the war, ignited by a bloody and wide-ranging Hamas attack on Israel at the weekend, has already claimed at least 2,600 lives.

The Government has organised flights to fly British nationals out of Israel, with the first flight set to leave Tel Aviv on Thursday.

Charles, head of the Church of England, greeted the Chief Rabbi in the King’s Audience Room at the Palace.

The pair were pictured looking solemn as they stood side by side, and with the King gesturing as he welcomed Sir Ephraim to the meeting amid difficult times.

Israel Palestinians
Palestinians evacuate the wounded after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah refugee camp (Hatem Ali/AP/PA)

The pair have met previously through Charles’ work as the Prince of Wales on interfaith tolerance, and Sir Ephraim took part in the King’s coronation in May, greeting him in unison with faith leaders at the end of the service.

Sir Ephraim is the 11th Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth since the office was introduced in 1704.

He is traditionally seen as the figurehead of British Jews, but is only officially representative of the United Synagogue, the biggest wing of orthodox Judaism in the UK.

He was installed in September 2013 during a ceremony attended by Charles when he was Prince of Wales, the first time a member of the royal family was present.

More from Perspective

Get a free copy of our print edition


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Your email address will not be published. The views expressed in the comments below are not those of Perspective. We encourage healthy debate, but racist, misogynistic, homophobic and other types of hateful comments will not be published.