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British Ambassador Explains Why Prince William Is Not Giving the "Peace" Speech In Israel

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British Ambassador Explains Why Prince William Is Not Giving the "Peace" Speech In Israel

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Many observers have wondered why Prince William would visit Israel in the midst of the tensions between the country and Palestine. Before now, the British government had limited its involvement in the peace process spearheaded by the United States.

 

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It is even more confusing that the visit is regarded as non-political. So why is he visiting in the first place? The reason may be more personal than official.

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Prince Phillip’s mother, Princess Alice, was laid to rest in Jerusalem in 1988. He was not allowed to visit the country due to political friction between England and Israel until 1994. In 2016, Prince Charles paid a visit to the grave site to pay his respects. It turns out, Prince William is using the trip as an opportunity to pay his respects as well.

 

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Due to his declining health, it is unlikely that Prince Phillip will be leaving the country anytime soon. In some way, Prince William’s visit is in respect to his grandfather and it is likely that the visit may become a family tradition. So do not be surprised if Prince George visits Jerusalem in the near future.

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Prince William will be meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas but according to Britain’s Ambassador to Israel, David Quarrey, the Prince will not be sharing a “message of peace.”

I don’t think that the Duke will be bringing a particular message to either side. But I think he’ll be very interested in hearing from each side what they think they can do, what they think can be done more generally to move us out of the current situation and move us towards peace.

On Tuesday, the Prince met with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as President Reuven Rivlin. The visit is intended to reestablish cordial relations between the countries above everything else.

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Besides meeting with political leaders, the Prince met representatives of Palestinian civil society, business, culture, and government. Britain is trying to find subtle ways of calling both sides to consider peace and end the hostilities that have plagued the region for decades.

 

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There is no telling how much Prince William’s visit will mean in the conflict-prone region but seeing as Britain is not rushing to play middle-man, there is hope that this more subtle approach will yield positive results in the future.

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