Prince Charles
Prince CharlesREUTERS

The heir to the British throne blamed Jewish immigration to Israel for turmoil in the Middle East, and called on the US to confront the “Jewish lobby”, The Daily Mail reported Sunday.

Charles, Prince of Wales, the present heir apparent to the crown, blamed Jewish immigration to Israel for Middle Eastern turmoil, writing to a friend in 1986 that the US must “take on the Jewish lobby”.

According to The Daily Mail, Prince Charles, then 38 and married to Princess Diana Spencer, penned a letter on November 24th, 1986 to his friend, Laurens van der Post, sharing his reflections on Middle Eastern terrorism and political discord.

In the letter, Prince Charles claimed that he had “learned a lot about the Middle east Arab outlook” during his recent trip to Qatar, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia, and that he had tried to “read a bit of the Koran on way out and it gave me some insight into way they [Muslims] think and operate. Don’t think they could understand us through reading Bible though!”

“Much admire some aspects of Islam – especially accent on hospitality and accessibility of rulers.”

Charles argued that rather than stemming from Arab refusal to acknowledge the Jewish right to statehood in the historic Jewish homeland or internal strife within the Muslim world, Middle Eastern unrest could be traced to Jewish immigration to Israel.

“I now being to understand better [the Arabs’] point of view about Israel. Never realised they see it as a US colony.”

“I now appreciate that Arabs and Jews were all a Semitic people originally and it is the influx of foreign, European Jews (especially from Poland, they say) which has helped to cause great problems.”

The prince then implicitly suggests the Jewish right to immigrate to Israel be amended, and the “Jewish lobby” be confronted.

“I know there are so many complex issues, but how can there ever be an end to terrorism unless the causes are eliminated?”

“Surely some US president has to have the courage to stand up and take on the Jewish lobby in US? I must be naive, I suppose!”

Stephen Pollard, editor of The Jewish Chronicle blasted the letter, saying it drew on classic anti-Semitic tropes in a “jaw-droppingly shocking” way.

“To me this is the most astonishing element of the Prince’s letter. The ‘Jewish lobby’ is one of the anti-Semitic themes that have endured for centuries. It is this myth there are these very powerful Jews who control foreign policy or the media or banks or whatever.”

A spokeswoman for the royal family claimed the letter did not represent the prince’s views, but instead were intended to convey those of his Arab hosts during his recent trip to the Middle East.

“This letter clearly stated that these were not the Prince’s own views about Arab-Israeli issues but represented the opinions of some of those he met during his visit which he was keen to interrogate.”

“He was sharing the arguments in private correspondence with a long-standing friend in an attempt to improve his understanding of what he has always recognised is a deeply complex issue to which he was coming early on in his own analysis in 1986.”

While members of the British royal family – including Prince Charles himself – have made personal visits to Israel, the royal family has made no official visit to the Jewish state since its establishment in 1948.

An official state visit by Prince Charles had been planned to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration earlier this month, but was scrapped amid fears of an Arab backlash.