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

An American Withdrawal from Iraq Would Hand Another Victory to Iran

Since October 7, the powerful network of Iran-backed militias in Iraq have carried out 120 attacks on U.S. forces stationed in the country. In the previous year, there were dozens of such attacks. The recent escalation has led some in the U.S. to press for the withdrawal of these forces, whose stated purpose in the country is to stamp out the remnants of Islamic State and to prevent the group’s resurgence. William Roberts explains why doing so would be a mistake:

American withdrawal from Iraq would cement Iran’s influence and jeopardize our substantial investment into the stabilization of Iraq and the wider region, threatening U.S. national security. Critics of the U.S. military presence argue that [it] risks a regional escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran. However, in the long term, the U.S. military has provided critical assistance to Iraq’s security forces while preventing the escalation of other regional conflicts, such as clashes between Turkey and Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and Syria.

Ultimately, the only path forward to preserve a democratic, pluralistic, and sovereign Iraq is through engagement with the international community, especially the United States. Resisting Iran’s takeover will require the U.S. to draw international attention to the democratic backsliding in the country and to be present and engage continuously with Iraqi civil society in military and non-military matters. Surrendering Iraq to Iran’s agents would not only squander our substantial investment in Iraq’s stability; it would greatly increase Iran’s capability to threaten American interests in the Levant through its influence in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

Read more at Providence

More about: Iran, Iraq, U.S. Foreign policy