Elliott Abrams

Pressure Points

Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

Print Print Cite Cite
Style: MLA APA Chicago Close


Royal Tourism

by Elliott Abrams
February 19, 2014


The heir to the British throne is shown in this photo during a “private visit” to Saudi Arabia. Such a visit is entirely appropriate, but it is a reminder that the British royals appear to have an allergy to visiting Israel. The Queen has never set foot there. Prince Charles did attend the Rabin funeral, but has never gone back and never made an official visit. Such a visit is occasionally hinted at or predicted, but then never gets scheduled. The continuing failure or refusal of any royal to make an official or state visit to Israel is an anomaly that suggests bias, and undermines potential British influence in the region.

Post a Comment 7 Comments

  • Posted by Adam

    I guess Charles prefers playing Lawrence of Arabia and hanging out with his rich Saudi and Gulf friends. Never really seen the point in figureheads visiting controversial countries as they can hardly make any real diplomatic criticisms or gestures without playing politics (which they are forbidden to do). I guess that’s why it’s a private visit to SA too. I don’t really think he’s an anti-semite, nor do I think Israel will ever listen much to the British, whether he comes or not.

  • Posted by George Weiss

    You are wrong, Adam. The british, especially the royalty, have always been pro-Arab.

  • Posted by Jossef

    Frankly, I prefer that Israel spends money on more important things than hosting the British Royals; just looking at this picture of Charles in Arab costume show how ridiculous and insignificant are these Royals.

  • Posted by Wilhelmina Bothwell

    I have personally asked Prince Charles why he hasn’t been to Israel. He said he has tried but always been blocked by the. Foriegn Office,
    We all know how left wing and Arab loving to FO is and therefore should not be quick to judge and condem.

  • Posted by Raymond Cannon

    Given Saudi Arabia has an appalling human rights record and women are treated abominably, it beggars belief that the British heir to the throne even wants to step foot into such an obnoxious country.Unless he is in favor of be headings, amputations as punishment, stoning, whipping to name but a few niceties of Islamic rule of law – Saudi style..

  • Posted by Elliott Abrams

    Thank you for this very interesting reply. I did not condemn; I called attention. To be frank, I am not sure I fully credit that the FO is blocking the Prince. No doubt there are people in it who take that viw, but I know too many people in it to believe opinion is undivided. If the Prince had told PM Blair that he wanted to go on such a trip, I believe it would have happened.

  • Posted by Adam


    I get the impression that many of them are pro-arab too. Which is one reason why Israel would likely ignore what they have to say. But that does not make them anti-semites.

Post a Comment

CFR seeks to foster civil and informed discussion of foreign policy issues. Opinions expressed on CFR blogs are solely those of the author or commenter, not of CFR, which takes no institutional positions. All comments must abide by CFR's guidelines and will be moderated prior to posting.

* Required