Paul Calvert spoke with Israelis and Palestinians about their historic and current suffering, and what they hope will happen because of Prince William’s visit.
At the request of her Majesty’s Government Prince William is visiting Jordan and Israel. It is very significant because in 70 years of the State of Israel, no member of the British royal family has ever officially visited.
The first responsibility of the day in Israel was to visit Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Museum). This is a place every dignitary visits. It’s important for heads of the world to understand the Holocaust, and be reminded that there is still anti-Semitism in the world today, which we have even seen lately with the problems in the British Labour Party.
His Royal Highness received a short tour of the museum and met with survivors of the Holocaust and the Kindertransport, who shared their stories with him.
The Prince laid a wreath in memory of those who died and left a personal message in the visitor’s book. With the Duke during the ceremony was the British Chief Rabbi.
Before the ceremony I spoke with Henry Foner who was a survivor of the Holocaust and Kindertransport. I asked him how he felt about meeting Prince William.
Henry: I feel very excited. First of all of course I was a soldier in the British army and saw active service, and so did William in a way. I am very grateful to Britain. They saved my life, it’s as simple as that. It’s a sort of fairy story: a little refugee kid is sent to a country, and he knows nobody and is lucky he is sent to nice people who look after him. I’m in contact with their family today. Then one day he gets a chance to meet the Prince and say thank you. Don’t you think it’s like a fairy story?
Another place on the Prince’s agenda is the Church of Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem where he will pay his respects at the tomb of his great-grandmother, Princess Alice. Both the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales have made previous visits there.