Israeli, Jewish leaders express condolences on Queen Elizabeth II's death

Israeli President Isaac Herzog called the Queen's death "the end of an era."

 The British and Israeli flags are screened on the walls of Jerusalem's Old City following the death of the United Kingdom's Queen Elizabeth, September 8, 2022.  (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
The British and Israeli flags are screened on the walls of Jerusalem's Old City following the death of the United Kingdom's Queen Elizabeth, September 8, 2022.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Israel’s leaders mourned the death of England’s Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday evening.

President Herzog: 'The end of an era'

President Isaac Herzog said her death was “the end of an era.”

“Queen Elizabeth was a historic figure. She lived history, she made history, and with her passing she leaves a magnificent, inspirational legacy,” Herzog stated. “Throughout her long and momentous reign, the world changed dramatically, while the queen remained an icon of stable, responsible leadership, and a beacon of morality, humanity and patriotism. In her life and in her service to her people, the queen embodied a spirit of integrity, duty and ancient tradition.”

Herzog noted that his father – former president Chaim Herzog – and mother had several audiences with the queen and that “her fond welcome and warm hospitality left a profound impression.”

 People walk by Rabin square as Tel Aviv's municipality building is illuminated with the Union Jack flag following the death of Queen Elizabeth, Britain's longest-reigning monarch, in Tel Aviv, Israel September 8, 2022. (credit: CORINNA KERN/REUTERS) People walk by Rabin square as Tel Aviv's municipality building is illuminated with the Union Jack flag following the death of Queen Elizabeth, Britain's longest-reigning monarch, in Tel Aviv, Israel September 8, 2022. (credit: CORINNA KERN/REUTERS)

PM Lapid: 'The Queen was an extraordinary figure, a unique leader'

Prime Minister Yair Lapid sent condolences on behalf of the government and people of Israel.

Queen Elizabeth II, he said, “leaves behind an unparalleled legacy of leadership and service. May her memory be for a blessing.”

Israeli ambassador: She was admired around the world as inspirational & beloved

Ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely said that she was “deeply saddened” by the queen’s death.

“Britain’s longest reigning monarch she was admired around the world as an inspirational & beloved stateswoman,” Hotovely tweeted. “Israel stands with the Royal family and the British people in mourning the loss of The Queen.”

Hotovely added in Hebrew: “May her memory be blessed.”

Netanyahu: 'She was a legendary sovereign, a beacon of integrity'

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu offered his condolences to the royal family and the people of Great Britain.

“She was a legendary sovereign, a beacon of integrity and a steward of a second Elizabethan age which will be remembered down the centuries,” Netanyahu said.

 Queen Elizabeth II. (credit: Wikimedia Commons) Queen Elizabeth II. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Knesset speaker: 'A global symbol of stability even in difficult moments'

"In my own name and in the name of the Knesset, I send my condolences to the British people in their heavy mourning for the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who was a stable and strong pillar in her country, in the British Commonwealth and in world politics for over 70 years," said Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy.

"Elizabeth II, who dedicated her whole life from a young age to the service of the kingdom and the British people, was a global symbol of stability even in difficult moments, of unity among the people and impartial statesmanship at any cost."

Gantz: Under her reign, UK-Israel relations flourished

Defense Minister Benny Gantz expressed his condolences as well, stating "The Queen served the international community over 70 years, and under her reign, UK-Israel relations flourished. My thoughts are with the UK today."

The Tel Aviv Municipality displayed the British flag on the municipality's facade on Thursday night.

"Great sorrow fell on Britain with the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, one of the most important and influential leaders the world has ever known. Tonight we all share in the sorrow of the United Kingdom," said Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai.

Rabbi Joseph Dweck: 'May her majesty rest in peace'

Rabbi Joseph Dweck, the Senior Rabbi of the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi Community of the UK and the CER member said:

"A great grief fell upon the country and the Jewish community in Great Britain. Every Saturday we would pray for the safety and health of Queen Elizabeth. Our ties with her Majesty and Prince Charles were strong. Their consistent support of the Jewish community helped us maintain the religious freedom of the Jews in the country and fight against anti-Semitism. A little before COVID-19 started spreading, I had the privilege of visiting them at Buckingham Palace and thanking them for their close relationship with the Jewish community. May her Majesty rest in peace."

European rabbis: Her dignified, devoted leadership will endure as an exemplar model

Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, President of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER), expressed his condolences on Thursday night, stating "Together, Chief Rabbi Mirvis and the UK and the UK Jewish community, the CER, its President Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, and the chairman of its Standing Committee Dayan Menachem Gelley join mourning the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II. Her dignified, devoted leadership will endure as an exemplar model for all. May her family find comfort.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews mourned the Queen's death, stating "No words can fully describe the extent of our nation’s loss; Her Majesty’s wisdom, benevolence and dedication to duty served as an inspiration to generations of British citizens, including our community. May Her memory be for blessing."

“We extend our deepest sympathies to Her Majesty’s Son and Heir and all the members of the Royal Family. We pray that our nation will benefit from the strength and understanding of our new Sovereign for many years to come. God save the King. Long live the King.”

The European Jewish Congress stated that it was "profoundly saddened" by the passing of the Queen.

"This is a deeply sad day not only for Jews in the United Kingdom but for all of Europe and very much the end of an era," EJC President Ariel Muzicant said. "Her Majesty the Queen was fondly regarded by her Jewish subjects and came to embody the constancy and traditions of a British society based on values of tolerance and mutual respect. Those values have enabled the post-war British Jewish community to flourish as part of the European family of Jewish communities.

"Europe's Jews owe a great debt of gratitude to her years of unflinching service to her people."

European Jewish Congress President Ariel Muzicant

"Both personally, as a serving soldier as Britain stood alone against the Nazi might in the darkest days of World War II and symbolically as part of the wider Royal Family facing the Blitz with her brave people, Europe's Jews owe a great debt of gratitude to her years of unflinching service to her people."

Queen Elizabeth II never visited Israel. The UK Foreign Office recommended against official royal visits to Israel from its establishment until 2018, when Prince William visited.

King Charles III, then the Duke of Wales, attended the funerals of former prime ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, and took part in the World Holocaust Forum at Yad Vashem in 2020. Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband, visited the grave of his mother on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.