LONDON (Dispatches) -- In a newly revealed letter from 1986 , the UK’s Prince Charles implied that the "influx of foreign, European Jews” to Palestine was to blame for fueling the Middle East conflict, and lamented that U.S. presidents were unwilling to take on the American "Jewish lobby.”
The November 24, 1986 letter was written to a friend, explorer Laurens van der Post, after a visit to the Persian Gulf with Princess Diana. It was published by the Mail on Sunday. Charles wrote that he now had a greater insight to Arabs’ grievances towards the Israel following the trip.
"Also begin to understand their point of view about Israel. Never realized they see it as a U.S. colony,” he wrote. "I now appreciate that Arabs and Jews were all a Semitic people originally + it is the influx of foreign, European Jews (especially from Poland, they say) which has helped to cause great problems.”
Charles, who was 38 at the time, then suggested the immigration of Jews to Palestine was a root cause of the simmering problem that needed to be addressed.
Charles also wrote he hoped a U.S. president would take on the "Jewish lobby,” presumably in order to solve the Israeli-Arab conflict.
"Surely some U.S. president has to have the courage to stand up and take on the Jewish lobby in U.S.?” wrote Charles. "I must be naive, I suppose.”
Following the publication of the letter, the editor of the Jewish Chronicle weekly called its content "jaw-droppingly shocking” and criticized the prince’s use of the term "Jewish lobby.”
"To me this is the most astonishing element of the Prince’s letter. The ‘Jewish lobby’ is one of the anti-Semitic themes that have endured for centuries. It is this myth there are these very powerful Jews who control foreign policy or the media or banks or whatever,” the Mail quoted Stephen Pollard as saying.
Pollard also said the views in the letter expressed by Charles were "the absolute classic Arab explanation of the problems in the Middle East.”
"And it is what everyone has always said the British aristocracy actually thinks – the idea that Jews were some kind of foreigners who had no real place in Israel until we decided to make it their homeland,” said Pollard. "Historically it is nonsense and it’s quite stunning when it comes from the heir to the throne.”
A spokeswoman for Prince Charles said the letter was not reflective of his views but only relaying arguments he encountered during his trip.
"He was sharing the arguments in private correspondence with a long-standing friend in an attempt to improve his understanding of what he has always recognized is a deeply complex issue to which he was coming early on in his own analysis in 1986,” the spokeswoman said.
The occupying regime of Israel’s president Reuven Rivlin in March publicly extended an invitation to Prince Charles to visit Occupied Palestine during the centennial year of the 1917 signing of the Balfour Declaration, although UK media reports said the prince would not visit the territories in 2017.
Britain contributed to the creation of Israel on Palestinian territories.
In a document issued in November 1917 by the then British foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour said the UK government "views with favor the establishment in Palestine” of Israel.
It set the stage for Nakba Day in 1948, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were expelled from their homes by the occupying regime.