Prince William returns to work as he shares emotional message from him and Kate on rise in anti-Semitism

29 February 2024, 13:01 | Updated: 29 February 2024, 13:20

Prince William has visited a London synagogue
Prince William has visited a London synagogue. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Prince William has been seen in public for the first time since pulling out of a memorial service as Kate continues to recover from an operation.

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William visited the Western Marble Arch Synagogue in London to discuss anti-Semitism in the UK, which has risen markedly since the October 7 attacks and the subsequent war in Gaza.

The Prince of Wales met with Holocaust survivor Renee Salt. He also talked to young people who had taken part in the Lessons from Auschwitz scheme, run by the Holocaust Educational Trust.

He told attendees: "Prejudice has no place in society. 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. 

Read more: Prince William pulls out of Windsor castle memorial event ‘due to a personal matter’

Read more: Israel says Gaza war will only end when 'Hamas is dismantled' in direct reply to Prince William’s intervention

The Prince of Wales
The Prince of Wales. Picture: Alamy

"Both Catherine and I are extremely concerned about the rise in anti-Semitism that you guys have talked about this morning and I'm just so sorry if any of you have had to experience that. 

The Prince of Wales speaks with Renee Salt, 94, a Holocaust survivor, during a visit to the Western Marble Arch Synagogue in London
The Prince of Wales speaks with Renee Salt, 94, a Holocaust survivor, during a visit to the Western Marble Arch Synagogue in London. Picture: Alamy

"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."

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said that William "reminded us that anti-Semitism is not only a problem for the Jewish community but for all society.:

He listened to young Jewish students who are facing a deluge of antisemitic hate on campus, share their personal experiences of this anti-Jewish hate and he met young Holocaust Educational Trust Ambassadors, who are campaigning against antisemitism despite not being Jewish themselves."

Prince Williams with Rabbi Daniel Epstein
Prince Williams with Rabbi Daniel Epstein. Picture: Alamy

Ms Pollock said of Holocaust survivor Ms Salt that when "she was liberated nearly 80 years ago, she never could have imagined that once again, within her lifetime, there would be a global explosion of anti-Semitism."

She added: "His Royal Highness’ visit sends a powerful message that Britain is a country where Jews, whether Holocaust survivors who came to find sanctuary or young Jewish students – are welcome and celebrated. He reminds us that even in the darkest days, the Jewish community is not alone."

Ms Pollock said that she and the trust thanked William for his support.

The Prince of Wales touches the hand of Renee Salt, 94, a Holocaust survivor, during a visit to the Western Marble Arch Synagogue in London
The Prince of Wales touches the hand of Renee Salt, 94, a Holocaust survivor, during a visit to the Western Marble Arch Synagogue in London. Picture: Alamy

The event was originally supposed to take place last month to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, and Kate was also slated to attend.

The Princess of Wales is recovering from abdominal surgery and has not been seen in public for months.

It comes after William pulled out of attending the memorial service for his godfather the late King Constantine of Greece at Windsor Castle on Tuesday due to a personal matter.

The Prince of Wales shakes hands with Renee Salt, 94, a Holocaust survivor, during a visit to the Western Marble Arch Synagogue in London
The Prince of Wales shakes hands with Renee Salt, 94, a Holocaust survivor, during a visit to the Western Marble Arch Synagogue in London. Picture: Alamy

Earlier this month, William intervened publicly in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. He called for an "end to the fighting" between Israel and Hamas "as soon as possible" because "too many have been killed".

The Prince of Wales said he wants to see the release of the hostages and more aid to Gaza.

Prince William
Prince William. Picture: Getty

In a statement released on X, the royal said: "I remain deeply concerned about the terrible human cost of the conflict in the Middle East since the Hamas terrorist attack on 7 October. Too many have been killed.

"I, like so many others, want to see an end to the fighting as soon as possible.

The Prince of Wales shakes hands with Karen Pollock, CEO of the Holocaust Educational Trust
The Prince of Wales shakes hands with Karen Pollock, CEO of the Holocaust Educational Trust. Picture: Alamy

"There is a desperate need for increased humanitarian support to Gaza. It’s critical that aid gets in and the hostages are released.

"Sometimes it is only when faced with the sheer scale of human suffering that the importance of permanent peace is brought home.

The Prince of Wales wearing a kippah
The Prince of Wales wearing a kippah. Picture: Alamy

"Even in the darkest hour, we must not succumb to the counsel of despair.

"I continue to cling to the hope that a brighter future can be found and I refuse to give up on that."

Israel said in direct response that the conflict in Gaza would only end when Hamas's "terror army is dismantled".

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