Prince William condemns rampant antisemitism in UK, meets with Jewish students

The prince also met with Renee Salt, a 94-year-old survivor of the Holocaust.

By Ben Cohen, The Algemeiner

The heir to the throne of the United Kingdom spoke of his concern at the rise in antisemitism since the Hamas pogrom of Oct. 7 in southern Israel during a visit to a synagogue in London on Wednesday.

William, Prince of Wales, told Jewish students and representatives of the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) that he and his wife, Princess Catherine, were “extremely concerned about the rise in antisemitism.”

Wearing a navy blue kippa for the encounter at the Western Marble Arch Synagogue, the future king “heard how organizations like the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) are delivering programs to tackle hatred and encourage cross-community cohesion,” the London-based Jewish Chronicle reported.

In a conversation with three Jewish students and three HET ambassadors, the prince condemned the antisemitism that the students described experiencing on campus. “Prejudice has no place in society,” he said.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I want you all to know you can talk about it and your experiences,” he continued.“Both Catherine and I are extremely concerned about the rise in antisemitism that you guys have talked about this morning and I’m just so sorry if any of you have had to experience that. It has no place… that’s why I’m here today to reassure you all that people do care and people do listen and we can’t let that go.”

The UK experienced a record year in 2023 for antisemitic outrages, with over 4,100 incidents recorded mainly in the period after the Hamas pogrom, according to a recent report from the Community Security Trust (CST), a voluntary organization serving the Jewish community. Speaking at the CST’s annual dinner on Wednesday night, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak condemned the upsurge, pledging an extra $68 million in funding to combat the continuing spread of antisemitism.

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Edward Isaacs, president of the Union of Jewish Students, told Prince William that antisemitism had transformed the experiences of Jews studying at Britain’s universities. “If you haven’t been a victim, you know someone who has been,” Isaacs said. “It has created a fear like never before.”

The prince also met with Renee Salt, a 94-year-old survivor of the Holocaust, in the synagogue’s main sanctuary. An inmate of both the Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps, Salt told William of her fear that “some of the young people don’t even believe it [the Holocaust] ever happened. It is very bad.”

Clasping her hand, the prince responded, “It will get better.”

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Emma Levy, a Jewish student who attended the meeting, praised the prince for his stance. “You could really tell that he cared when he was speaking to us,” she said. “The prince’s unequivocal condemnation of antisemitism is what we need more people to do.”