Prince Charles meets Rivlin, visits Israel Museum

UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis accompanies prince

The UK's Prince Charles meets with President Reuven Rivlin ahead of the Fifth World Holocaust Forum, January 23, 2020 (photo credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90)
The UK's Prince Charles meets with President Reuven Rivlin ahead of the Fifth World Holocaust Forum, January 23, 2020
(photo credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90)
The UK’s Prince Charles met with President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday morning at the President’s Residence ahead of the Fifth International Holocaust Forum at Yad Vashem.
Among others, the prince of Wales was accompanied by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.
“We will always remember how your grandmother, Princess Alice, who is buried here on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, saved the lives of many Jews during the Holocaust,” Rivlin told the prince. “Britain stood firm against the Nazi threat. Many British servicemen and women fought with great bravery and liberated many concentration and death camps. And today, British forces are on the front line in the war on terror in the Middle East, and we are together in this just war.”
The president also thanked the prince for its commitment in the fight against antisemitism and for coming to Jerusalem on the occasion of the Holocaust Forum.
“For me, this is a very significant experience,” Charles responded. “Many of my teachers at school were Holocaust survivors, and we are all deeply committed to combating antisemitism.”
The two leaders planted a tree together in the garden of the residence.
“‘The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it’ (Genesis 2:15). This tree was planted by His Excellency President Reuven Rivlin and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, as a sign of friendship between the two nations, and in recognition of the value of preserving and sustaining the environment and nature,” reads the plaque placed next to the tree.
Later in the day, Charles visited the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where he met with two Holocaust survivors: George Shefi, who arrived in Britain on the Kindertransport; and Marta Weiss, who survived the Auschwitz concentration camp.
According to a statement by the museum, he toured the Wing for Jewish Art and Life, together with Mirvis, UK Ambassador to Israel Neil Wigan and the chairman of the board of directors of the museum, Isaac Molho.
During the visit, the prince saw the two reconstructed synagogues from three continents featured in the Synagogue Route and viewed the collection of Hanukkah lamps from Jewish communities all over the world, as well as the Shrine of the Book that houses the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The heir apparent to the British throne has been to Jerusalem twice before on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II in 1995 and 2016 to attend the funerals of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and president Shimon Peres, respectively.
The queen has never visited Israel. However, her husband, Prince Philip, has visited his mother’s grave on the Mount of Olives. Princess Alice of Greece hid a Jewish woman, Rachel Cohen, and two of her children during the Holocaust and is recognized by Yad Vashem as a Righteous Gentile.
Last year, Prince William came to Israel in the first-ever official visit to Israel by a member of the British royal family.
Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.