The British Royal Family and Jewish Refugees

July 12 2022

In honor of the recent platinum jubilee celebrated by Queen Elizabeth II, David Herman briefly surveys the numerous interactions between those Jews who fled Central Europe for England after the Nazis’ rise to power and the House of Windsor. Herman cites the observation of the historian Anthony Grenville that these refugees “developed a surprising degree of regard for the British royal family.” One story, not about Queen Elizabeth but about her mother, stands out:

Gretel Salinger . . . was invited to a garden party held at Buckingham Palace in 1945 for those who had done notable war work. She spoke to the queen (later the queen mother): “‘Where have you come from?’ [the queen asked]. I ought to have said: ‘From Paddington,’ but what did I say? I said: ‘I come from Germany.’ She looked at me and said: ‘And you are invited here to this party?’ I said: ‘Yes, Your Majesty. I have worked very hard during the war and I have collected millions [sic] of pounds for the war effort.’ ‘Oh,’ she said, ‘You mean you are a refugee from Germany.’ ‘Of course, Your Majesty.’ ‘That’s different, my dear child. I’m glad you have escaped and made your way here.’

“Where I took my courage from I still cannot say, but I said: ‘Yes, Your Majesty, but may I tell you what happened to my family?’ She said: ‘Yes.’ ‘All my family have been killed in Auschwitz.’ She made a gesture, [as if] shielding herself. She said: ‘If only I hadn’t asked you.’ I said: ‘On the contrary, Your Majesty, ‘this is my kaddish, the prayer we Jews have for the dead, that I could tell their fate to my queen.’ She took both my hands and she pressed them and said: ‘My darling child, I hope nothing else bad will happen to you and that you will enjoy your life and God bless you.’ I stood there crying, crying.”

Read more at AJR Journal

More about: Anglo-Jewry, Holocaust, Queen Elizabeth II, Refugees, United Kingdom

Israel Is Courting Saudi Arabia by Confronting Iran

Most likely, it was the Israeli Air Force that attacked eastern Syria Monday night, apparently destroying a convoy carrying Iranian weapons. Yoav Limor comments:

Israel reportedly carried out 32 attacks in Syria in 2022, and since early 2023 it has already struck 25 times in the country—at the very least. . . . The Iranian-Israeli clash stands out in the wake of the dramatic events in the region, chiefly among them is the effort to strike a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and later on with various other Muslim-Sunni states. Iran is trying to torpedo this process and has even publicly warned Saudi Arabia not to “gamble on a losing horse” because Israel’s demise is near. Riyadh is unlikely to heed that demand, for its own reasons.

Despite the thaw in relations between the kingdom and the Islamic Republic—including the exchange of ambassadors—the Saudis remain very suspicious of the Iranians. A strategic manifestation of that is that Riyadh is trying to forge a defense pact with the U.S.; a tactical manifestation took place this week when Saudi soccer players refused to play a match in Iran because of a bust of the former Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Suleimani, [a master terrorist whose militias have wreaked havoc throughout the Middle East, including within Saudi borders].

Of course, Israel is trying to bring Saudi Arabia into its orbit and to create a strong common front against Iran. The attack in Syria is ostensibly unrelated to the normalization process and is meant to prevent the terrorists on Israel’s northern border from laying their hands on sophisticated arms, but it nevertheless serves as a clear reminder for Riyadh that it must not scale back its fight against the constant danger posed by Iran.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, Syria