Prince’s visit and the unmistakable echoes of British-Israeli history

There are rare moments when you experience something and you know it’s history in the making.

Being at the reception at the British Ambassador’s residence for Prince William was not only history being made for this particular moment but held the unmistakable echoes of past British-Israeli history.

The words of 100 year old Balfour Declaration ran through my mind as the prince entered. When he went up onto the stage, a large British flag was projected onto the back screen behind him.

I stood proudly and sang the National anthem but then the screen seamlessly moved to projecting the next flag on the screen.

Now we faced the Israeli flag, the unmistakable symbols of the talit and Magen David, and sang just as proudly the Hatikvah.

I have always imagined what it was like to be here when the British Mandate ended, when the British flag was lowered and the Israeli flag was raised.

Last night, that transition from the British flag and “God save the Queen” to the Israeli flag and the singing of “to be a free people in our own land” was the nearest thing I have ever had the joy of experiencing to that moment.

As the Duke of Cambridge heads off into the Occupied Palestinian Territories today, carrying the message of peace from Reuven Rivlin, the President of Israel, I can truly thank God for having sustained us and having brought us to this very special time.

About the Author
Rabbi Janner-Klausner grew up in London; worked as an educator in Jerusalem for 15 years working with Jews and as dialogue facilitator trainer of Palestinians and Israelis. She is the Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism in the UK.
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