April 23rd, 2024

Prince William condemns antisemitism during visit to London synagogue

By The Associated Press on February 29, 2024.

Britain's Prince William, the Prince of Wales, right, speaks with Renee Salt, 94, a Holocaust survivor, during a visit to the Western Marble Arch Synagogue in London, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. (Toby Melville/Pool Photo via AP)

LONDON (AP) – Prince William condemned antisemitism during a visit to a London synagogue on Thursday, the first time he appeared in public after he unexpectedly pulled out of a royal event earlier in the week.

William, the heir to the throne, heard about how Jewish students across the U.K. have been affected by the rise of hatred against the Jewish community during his visit to the Western Marble Arch Synagogue. He also spent time with Renee Salt, a 94-year-old Holocaust survivor.

The royal said he and his wife, Kate, the Princess of Wales, are extremely concerned about the rise in antisemitism. “I’m here today to reassure you all that people do care, people do listen and we can’t let that keep going,” he said.

William spoke out last week against the fighting in Gaza and called for the Israel-Hamas conflict to end “as soon as possible.”

While his statement stopped short of calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, he spoke of the “terrible human cost of the conflict in the Middle East since the Hamas terrorist attack” and urged for more humanitarian support to Gaza.

Reports of both antisemitic and anti-Muslim abuse in Britain have soared since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, which triggered Israel’s invasion of Gaza.

William’s absence Tuesday from a memorial service for his godfather, the late King Constantine of Greece, drew significant media attention because it came at a time when William’s father, King Charles III, and his wife are both suffering from health problems.

Palace officials only said that William pulled out of the service at Windsor because of a “personal matter.” They declined to elaborate but said his wife, who is recovering from abdominal surgery she underwent in January, continues to do well.

Charles, who is undergoing treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer, has canceled all his public engagements.

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