President Yitzhak Herzog met today (Monday) with British Crown Prince Charles Wales at his home in the Haygrove House. The two discussed the urgent challenges related to the climate crisis. The President thanked the Prince for his personal leadership in environmental issues over the years and stressed that he positions the issue of climate crisis as central to his tenure. The President noted that Israel has committed to reaching zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 and that it has a lot to contribute to global efforts by promoting innovative green technologies.

Herzog stressed the great importance Israel attaches to its relationship with the United Kingdom, and spoke of his personal connection to Britain stemming from his family background, as he is the son of a British Army major who participated in the Normandy landing and was one of the liberators of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. He also noted that he was a descendant of rabbis who served in congregations throughout Britain. The President thanked Prince Charles for his important work in promoting Holocaust education, as well as for his participation in the Fifth World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem, in January 2020. The President and Prince Charles also discussed regional issues and related threats.

At the end of the meeting, President Herzog presented Prince Charles with a special gift announcing the establishment of the “Compassion and Perseverance” Scholarship in Nursery in memory of Princess Alice Mattenberg, the prince’s paternal grandmother on behalf of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Afterwards, the President met in the Westminster Parliament with more than a hundred British MPs and members of the Friendship with Israel group, answered their questions, and emphasized to Israel Israel’s concern ahead of the resumption of nuclear talks with Iran. Herzog said: “Iran is pursuing a rigid policy on this issue and will come to Vienna not to abide by the agreement, but to continue on its path to producing a nuclear bomb.”

President Herzog added: “Friends of Israel, Britain, and other countries must leave all options open as Israel does.” Herzog praised the applause, Britain’s decision to declare Hamas’ political arm as a terrorist organization, and said that “this is the only way to fight terrorism that Iran is spreading to its metamorphoses in the region.” Herzog expressed satisfaction with his conversation with Turkish President Erdogan: “There was a positive signal in it. We emphasized the importance of the Abrahamic agreements for the future of the region.”

The president added: “Gaza has been hijacked by Hamas and is receiving instructions from Iran’s hate coalition. Egypt plays an important strategic role, but unfortunately, as long as Hamas controls Gaza, where will it lead? It is a non-starter, because it is Hamas. There is an attempt to distinguish between “The people of Gaza belong to Hamas, so the mechanism for transferring the funds is working.”

“The Palestinian issue remains on the table, but now it is not the only one but one in a series of issues,” he added. Finally, Herzog said that “the new government in Israel is a fascinating political development, and indicates the strength of Israeli democracy.” The British Minister for Middle East Affairs, James Claverley, called for closer bilateral relations with Israel and more frequent visits, consultations on regional and international issues, and bilateral meetings.

By Editor

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