In this photograph from October 1994, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh (1921-2021), can be seen planting a maple sapling in the Righteous Among the Nations plot at Yad Vashem, in memory of his mother Princess Alice of Battenburg, who hid a Jewish family in her home during the Nazi occupation of Greece.
Here is an excerpt from Prince Philip's remarks at the ceremony:
"We did not know, and, as far as we know, she never mentioned to anyone, that she had given refuge to the Cohen family at a time when all Jews in Athens were in great danger of being arrested and transported to the concentration camps.
In retrospect, this reticence may seem strange, but I suspect that it never occurred to her that her action was in any way special. She would have considered it to be a perfectly natural human reaction to fellow beings in distress. You must also bear in mind that she had been well aware of the Nazi persecution of the Jews for many years.
Even I, at the age of twelve in the 1930s, had first-hand experience of the antisemitic frenzy that was gripping the members of the National Socialist party in Germany in those days. I had just moved from a private school in England to attend the boarding school at Salem in the south of Germany belonging to one of my brothers-in-law. The founder of the school, Kurt Hahn, had already been driven out of Germany by Nazi persecution and this was well known throughout the school.
It was the custom of the school to appoint a senior boy to look after the new arrivals. I was unaware of it at the time, but it so happened that our 'Helper', as he was called, was of Jewish origin. One night he was over-powered in his bed and had all his hair cut off. You can imagine what an effect this had on us junior boys. Nothing could have given us a clearer indication of the meaning of persecution.
It so happened that I had played cricket for my school in England and I still had my cricket cap with me. I offered it to our Helper and I was pleased to see that he wore it.
It is a small and insignificant incident, but it taught me a very important lesson about man's capacity for inhumanity, and I have never forgotten it."
Prince Philip will be missed.
Photo by Beni Birk, the Dan Hadani Collection, the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection at the National Library of Israel.
Yad Vashem: World Holocaust Center, Jerusalem ... See MoreSee Less
RIP Prince Philip
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THANKS TO JORDAN, JEWS CAN'T PRAY ON THE TEMPLE MOUNT - ANALYSIS
Bonus chutzpah is that for 19 years, Jordan totally controlled the Temple Mount and banned Jews from getting anywhere close.
By Lahav Harkov
Last week was a big one for aggrieved princes.
There’s Prince Harry of England, who decried racism against his wife, Meghan Markle.
Then Prince Hussein bin Abdullah of Jordan had to cancel his plans to visit the Temple Mount, because he wanted to go against what Israel had previously agreed to, and bring his entire cohort of armed guards with him, in a flashy show of force that Israel would not allow.
But they both had their revenge. Harry and Meghan went on Oprah, and wouldn’t name the royal racist, so we can all play a fun guessing game.
And Jordan blocked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s flight to the United Arab Emirates.
Princes! They may be among the most privileged people in the world, but they’re just like us! They have relatives that make them uncomfortable and they can’t pray at the Temple Mount!
Correction: The second bit makes them like the Jews among us.
Perhaps the height of chutzpah in l’affaire Prince Hussein is that, thanks to Jordan, most of Israel is barred from worship at the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, every single day. Bonus chutzpah is that for 19 years, Jordan totally controlled the Temple Mount and banned Jews from getting anywhere close.
But the prince is sad he can’t bring all of his guards, guns blazing, to the very city from which Jordanian Legion snipers shot at Israeli civilians for kicks in the 50s and 60s.
The attitude as if Israel has to constantly show deference and warmth to Jordan, no matter what they do, is rampant, but it’s worth remembering that Jordan has agency and can defer to us sometimes, too. It’s not as if Israel is the only beneficiary of its peace agreement with Jordan; it’s good for Jordan, too.
It’s politically convenient for many to blame Netanyahu for the deteriorating relationship, since there’s an election in nine days, and he has had so many other foreign policy wins lately. So, we have columnists expressing abject horror that Netanyahu threatened to block Jordanian flights over Israel in response to Jordan, as if Jordan was being so reasonable up to that point.
Netanyahu has had his fair share of tensions with King Abdullah and his father, King Hussein, but frankly, Amman’s attitude last week was not surprising, less because of something Netanyahu had done and more because Jordan’s relationship with Israel in recent years, at least publicly, is almost entirely defined by grievances.
In the 1994 peace agreement between Israel and Jordan, Israel stated that it “respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem.” In other words, the Jordanian Islamic Trust, known as the Wakf, would be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Al-Aksa Mosque.
Jordan has taken that to mean that it can demand things like the removal of metal detectors from the site, installed immediately after a terrorist attack in which Muslim Israelis murdered two Druze Israeli police officers.
Plus, Jordan thinks it is within its rights to demand that high-profile Israelis not visit the Temple Mount, despite the agreement stating that “there will be freedom of access to the places of religious and historical significance.”
King Abdullah also declined to allow Israel to continue to lease small pockets of farmland from Jordan, as detailed in the peace agreement, further contributing to the decline of relations.
Beyond that, he’s done nothing to counter the coldness of the peace between Israel and Jordan, and rampant anti-Israel sentiment in society. Jordan has blocked the extradition to the US of Ahlam Tamimi, one of the masterminds of the 2001 suicide bombing in a Sbarro in Jerusalem, in which 15 were killed and 122 injured; she has since become a TV star in Jordan.
A 2019 study by IMPACT-se, which analyzes the content of textbooks in the region, found "minimal recognition of Israel and the peace treaty," which it called "cause for concern." Official textbooks warn of the "Zionist Danger," and describe Israel as "a Zionist entity with no rights." One textbook expresses a "wish to see Palestine liberated from the Zionist Occupation;" another compares Zionism to Nazism and fascism.
But not letting the prince have as many armed guards as he wants at Temple Mount is the real problem in Jordan-Israel relations.
Maybe Prince Hussein can talk to Oprah about it. ... See MoreSee Less
Love is in the air: Mazal tov to Magen David Adom paramedics Wala Tamimi and Ahmed Karot who got engaged this past week at the Jerusalem MDA Station.
We wish you many happy and healthy years together. #ValentinesDay
📸 Magen David Adom ... See MoreSee Less
Nice to see that goodness hasn't borders!