The 31-year-old letter, according to the Daily Mail on Saturday, quoted the Prince of Wales as saying European Jews have “helped to cause great problems” in the Middle East, attributing the violence in the region to the massive influx of Jews to the region in the 20th century.
He expressed his hope that a US president would stand up to the “Jewish lobby,” a comment that has sparked a furious backlash.
A source told the Mail the prince has been critical of US-Israeli policy behind closed doors.
Writing to an Afrikaner friend in 1986, Charles, then 38 and married to Princess Diana Spencer, penned a letter on 24 November to his friend, Laurens van der Post, sharing his misgivings about Jews which he suggested was the source of Middle Eastern terrorism and political discord.
In the letter, he stated 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!”
He added: “Much admire some aspects of Islam – especially accent on hospitality and accessibility of rulers.”
Charles blamed Middle Eastern unrest on Jewish immigration to Israel. “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,” he wrote.
“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!”
He also said he had sympathy for the Arab point of view regarding Israel: “I now being to understand better [the Arabs’] point of view about Israel. Never realised they see it as a US colony.”
The British royal family has made no official visit to the Jewish state since its establishment in 1948. In fact, Charles cancelled an official state visit planned to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration earlier this month, amid fears of an Arab backlash.
British Jews said in response that Prince Charles’ use of the term “Jewish lobby” has been used as an anti-Semitic pejorative for centuries.
Stephen Pollard, editor of the British Jewish Chronicle, said that the term had been used by anti-Semites for centuries and called the letter “jaw-droppingly shocking”.
Pollard said: “It is this myth there are these very powerful Jews who control foreign policy or the media or banks or whatever.”
But Prince Charles is not the first public figure to mention the “Jewish lobby”. General George Brown, the highest-ranking military officer in the US as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was publicly rebuked and disowned by President Gerald Ford in 1974 after claiming that the “Jewish lobby” controlled Congress. In 2006, Chris Davies, former leader of the Lib Dem MEPs, was forced to resign after he used the term.
John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt stated in their bestseller book, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, that Jews had too much influence over US foreign policy. Mearsheimer and Walt quoted Morris Amitay, former AIPAC director, on the power of the lobby: “It’s almost politically suicidal … for a member of Congress who wants to seek reelection to take any stand that might be interpreted as anti-policy of the conservative Israeli government.”
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage earlier this month, drew fire, when he spoke of “a powerful Jewish lobby” in the US.
JJ Goldberg, the Jewish editorial director of The Forward, stated in a 2004 speech that “The Jewish lobby… is actually more than just a dozen organizations. The Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, Hadassah, of course, AIPAC, but it is also the impact of the Jewish role. … So, the Jewish influence is a lot of things. It is the organizations, it’s the vote, it’s fundraising.”
According to a public opinion poll by Zogby International of 1 036 likely voters in 2006, 40 percent of American voters believe that the Israel lobby has been a key factor in the US going to war in Iraq.
Philip Giraldi, a career CIA officer, was fired as a columnist because he questioned the lobby. “Why doesn’t anyone ever speak honestly about the six-hundred-pound gorilla in the room? Nobody has mentioned Israel […] and we all know it’s American Jews with all their money and power who are supporting every war in the Middle East.”