Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Foreign Office refuses to confirm rumours of royal visit to Israel

    The Foreign Office has declined to confirm whether a member of the royal family will visit Israel this year.

    Reuven Rivlin, Israeli president, issued an invitation during a meeting with Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, in Jerusalem last week.

    According to The Times, “Whitehall sources” have said the invitation is likely to be accepted.

    But a spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office could give no indication that a visit was in the pipeline. The spokesperson told the JC: “Decisions on where members of the royal family visit on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government are taken by the Royal Visits Committee and include advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

    “Any invitation will be considered in the normal way.”

    No member of the royal family has made an official trip to Israel since it was established in 1948, despite a series of invitations from the Israeli government.

    A royal visit this year would be timely — Israel is marking the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, the document that first expressed British backing for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

    Simon Johnson, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, one of the organisers of events marking the Balfour centenary in the UK, said there was as yet no sign a visit will take place.

    He said: “We have noted the reports but there is no confirmation at this point.” Mr Johnson said the JLC hoped President Rivlin’s invitation “will be warmly welcomed by those who advise the Royal Family on overseas visits”.

    Paul Charney, chairman of the Zionist Federation, said any prospect of a visit should be greeted with “limited vigour”.

    He said: “The royal family have made numerous official visits to the Middle East, including Bahrain, Oman, the UAE and others yet never has Israel been included. This has been a concerning omission.”

UK News

Livingstone quits Labour

Lee Harpin

Yesterday, 21:01

Livingstone quits Labour
The Diary

The Mill Hill meritocracy

JC Reporter

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Mill Hill meritocracy
UK News

Diaspora Jews have ‘abandoned their conscience'

JC Reporter

Friday, May 18, 2018

Diaspora Jews have ‘abandoned their conscience'
US News

Concentration camp Judaica is sold at auction

Anthea Gerrie

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Concentration camp Judaica is sold at auction
Community extra

Kerem celebrates its 70th anniversary

JC Reporter

Friday, May 18, 2018

Kerem celebrates its 70th anniversary
Community News

It's May day in Maidenhead as Prime Minister visits synagogue

JC Reporter

Friday, May 18, 2018

It's May day in Maidenhead as Prime Minister visits synagogue
UK News

Muslim group buys newspaper adverts to fight antisemitism

Daniel Sugarman

Friday, May 18, 2018

Muslim group buys newspaper adverts to fight antisemitism
UK News

Jewish group ‘says kaddish’ for Palestinians killed in Gaza

Ben Weich

Friday, May 18, 2018

Jewish group ‘says kaddish’ for Palestinians killed in Gaza
UK News

New guidance issued for coroners after High Court decision against Mary Hassell

Daniel Sugarman

Thursday, May 17, 2018

New guidance issued for coroners after High Court decision against Mary Hassell