The Royal Mohel and the House of Windsor’s Relationship with the Jews

Yesterday, upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the British government announced that her son Charles has become king. Ron Kampeas describes King Charles III’s first encounter with a rabbi, among other details about the royal family and Anglo-Jewry:

The Windsors, perhaps heeding fanciful notions that Britons were descended from a lost tribe, had their sons circumcised—something that was unusual at the time. The practice among royals predated by at least a century the belief that circumcision may be medically beneficial. Elizabeth, wanting a professional to do the job, brought in a mohel named Jacob Snowman.

The hiring of Snowman for such delicate work characterized the close relationship between the British princess and the Jewish community, one that continued when she assumed the throne. The Jewish community sent her birthday greetings not long after she ascended to the throne, and she eagerly thanked the chief rabbi at the time for the message in 1952.

As Marc Davis explains, the tradition of royal circumcision, “goes as far back as King George I, who reigned from 1714 to 1727. Years later, believing they descended directly from King David, Queen Victoria had all her sons circumcised, too. And Queen Elizabeth II continued the tradition.”

Read more at JTA

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

What Is the Biden Administration Thinking?

In the aftermath of the rescue of four Israeli hostages on Friday, John Podhoretz observes some “clarifying moments.” The third strikes me as the most important:

Clarifying Moment #3 came with the news that the Biden administration is still calling for negotiations leading to a ceasefire after, by my count, the seventh rejection of the same by Hamas since Bibi Netanyahu’s secret offer a couple of weeks ago. Secretary of State Blinken, a man who cannot say no, including when someone suggests it would be smart for him to play high-school guitar while Ukraine burns, will be back in the region for the eighth time to urge Hamas to accept the deal. Why is this clarifying? Because it now suggests, here and for all time, that the Biden team is stupid.

Supposedly the carrot the [White House] is dangling in the region is a tripartite security deal with Saudi Arabia and Israel. Which would, of course, be a good thing. But like the stupid people they are now proving to be, they seem not to understand the very thing that led the Saudis to view Israel as a potential ally more than a decade ago: the idea that Israel means business and does what it must to survive and built itself a tech sector the Saudis want to learn from. Allowing Hamas to survive, which is implicitly part of the big American deal, will not lead to normalization. The Saudis do not want an Iranian vassal state in Palestine. Their entire foreign-policy purpose is to counter Iran. I know that. You know that. Everybody in the world knows that. Even Tony Blinken’s guitar is gently weeping at his dangling a carrot to Israel and Saudi Arabia that neither wants, needs, nor will accept.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Antony Blinken, Gaza War 2023, Joseph Biden, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship