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

Sept. 9 2022

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.”

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Read more at JTA

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

Will Tensions Rise between the U.S. and Israel?

Unlike his past many predecessors, President Joe Biden does not have a plan for solving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Moreover, his administration has indicated its skepticism about renewing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. John Bolton nevertheless believes that there could be a collision between the new Benjamin Netanyahu-led Israeli government and the Biden White House:

In possibly his last term, Netanyahu’s top national-security priority will be ending, not simply managing, Iran’s threat. This is infinitely distant from Biden’s Iran policy, which venerates Barrack Obama’s inaugural address: “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

Tehran’s fist is today otherwise occupied, pummeling its own people. Still, it will continue menacing Israel and America unless and until the internal resistance finds ways to fracture the senior levels of Iran’s regular military and the Revolutionary Guards. Netanyahu undoubtedly sees Iran’s growing domestic turmoil as an opportunity for regime change, which Israel and others can facilitate. Simultaneously, Jerusalem can be preparing its military and intelligence services to attack Tehran’s nuclear program, something the White House simply refuses to contemplate seriously. Biden’s obsession with reviving the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal utterly blinds the White House to the potential for a more significant victory.

To make matters worse, Biden has just created a Washington-based position at the State Department, a “special representative for Palestinian affairs,” that has already drawn criticism in Israel both for the new position itself and for the person named to fill it. Advocated as one more step toward “upgrading” U.S. relations with the Palestinian Authority, the new position looks nearly certain to become the locus not of advancing American interests regarding the failed Authority, but of advancing the Authority’s interests within the Biden administration.

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Read more at 19FortyFive

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Joe Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship