A welcome visit
It is a rare pleasure to be able to report news that is both unexpected and welcome — news that will bring joy both to the Jewish community here and to Israel. We refer, of course, to the forthcoming visit by the Duke of Cambridge to Israel.
There were rumours last year that a visit might be arranged to mark the Balfour Declaration centenary but this time the news came as a complete surprise.
Best, perhaps, not to dwell on the fact it has taken 70 years for an official visit by a member of the Royal Family — a snub that seemed more aggravating the longer it continued. Instead, focus on the positive message, that a senior royal — indeed, a future king — is to visit in what will surely be a highlight of Israel’s 70th anniversary year.
His itinerary has yet to be decided, and there will be many suggestions from a nation not known for being backwards in coming forwards with ideas.
But although his visit to the Palestinian Authority will, in its own way, be equally important, on the Israeli leg of his tour, it is the simple fact of his being there that matters, rather than wherever else he ends up visiting.
From all of us
Almost every aspect of our communal life depends on volunteers. They all deserve our thanks.
But this week’s annual CST dinner reminds us of the particular thanks we owe to those volunteers who, day in and day out, stand outside events and gatherings, often in the cold and the rain, to ensure our security. In an ideal world, of course, none of them would be needed.
But that world is further away than ever. On behalf of the community, we say thank you to them all.