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Royals stand strong against Hamas, while BBC had to be shamed before calling group 'terrorists'

OpinionRoyals stand strong against Hamas, while BBC had to be shamed before calling group 'terrorists'

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As in America, the Middle East conflict sparks fierce debate and opposing viewpoints among citizens of our strongest ally, the U.K., creating deep division within British society. Indeed, in recent days, thousands of pro-Palestinian activists swarmed London to demonstrate support for the Palestinian cause.  

Amidst this ideological battle, the British monarchy has stepped forward with a clear and unambiguous stance, condemning the barbaric atrocities of Hamas against innocent Israelis. The values of fairness and humanity embraced by this position are foundational to Western societies, but they are currently under threat by terrorist organizations like Hamas. 

In times of chaos and crisis, the world turns to its leaders for wisdom, guidance and comfort. But, as a presidential republic, America lacks a respected apolitical voice of integrity provided in Britain by its monarchy. Our often-misguided celebrities and social influencers let us down in this regard, more often than not.  

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The horrors committed by Hamas have focused the minds of many around the globe, sometimes in alarming ways. Consider the egregious handling of the conflict by many of our universities, and some of our U.S. news outlets.  

King Charles, Queen Camilla and working royal family members

The royals showed their majesty by standing behind Israel in its time of need. FILE: King Charles III and Queen Camilla pictured with members of the working royal family: (L-R) Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester, Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Anne, Princess Royal, King Charles III, Queen Camilla, The Prince of Wales, Catherine, Princess of Wales, Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy and Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh. (Hugo Burnand/Buckingham Palace)

This is no different in Britain, where until late last week, the national broadcaster, the BBC, refused to refer to Hamas murderers as “terrorists,” notwithstanding the British government’s official designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization. 

For the moment, President Joe Biden, in his support of Israel, has come down on the side of civilization over barbarism. But electoral winds could challenge his laudable stance at any juncture.  

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Britain is fortunate in its royal family to have a clear-eyed, benevolent element of society that reminds its people of their noble shared values. These values, under threat by extremists like Hamas, are the very principles of fairness and humanity that underpin liberal Western civilization.  

The royal family moved swiftly and courageously to condemn the appalling terrorist acts, and, unlike the BBC, did not hesitate to identify them as such. The palace’s statement reported that the king was: “appalled by and condemns the barbaric acts of terrorism in Israel.” 

Charles personally called Israeli President Isaac Herzog to express his condolences and solidarity. Herzog rightly expressed that the king’s call was an important gesture to Jewish people around the globe. This acknowledgment by Israel’s president underlines the king’s standing as a critical figure of global leadership, beyond just the borders of Britain or the commonwealth.  

Faithful to his role as head of nation, the king also held a private audience with Britain’s chief rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis to express his care and concern for the U.K.’s Jewish population.  

For their part, Prince and Princess of Wales William and Kate issued a heartfelt statement condemning the Hamas attacks while recognizing, Israel’s “right of self defence.” Their distress over the unfolding events was palpable. Prince William went a step further by writing a letter to Ephraim, underlining his own solidarity with the Jewish community. 

The support for an embattled Israel was not limited to the royal family. It has been affirming to witness Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and a huge swathe of British parliamentarians, authors and public intellectuals express vocal and unambiguous support for Israel since the murderous Hamas attacks commenced. Along with the royal family, these enlightened voices also reinforce our great ally’s position and values in these times of global anxiety and despair.  

Kate Middleton at an army base

Princess of Wales Kate Middleton and the other royals have been willing to speak out for Israel and against terrorism. FILE: Princess Kate visits an army base. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Undeniably, kings and queens play valuable roles in times of international crisis, and the British monarchy, in particular, has consistently demonstrated its effectiveness in this regard. An outstanding illustration is the late Queen Elizabeth II’s response to the 9/11 attacks. 

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Just two days after the 2001 attacks, Queen Elizabeth broke with tradition and ordered the band of the Coldstream Guards to play “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

Her majesty further demonstrated solidarity by attending a service of remembrance at St. Paul’s Cathedral, where she ordered “The Star-Spangled Banner” to be played, wiping away a tear as thousands of churchgoers sang along.  

For their part, Prince and Princess of Wales William and Kate issued a heartfelt statement condemning the Hamas attacks while recognizing, Israel’s “right of self defence.” Their distress over the unfolding events was palpable. Prince William went a step further by writing a letter to Ephraim, underlining his own solidarity with the Jewish community. 

These actions, like the present royal family’s gestures of solidarity with those innocents — both Israelis and Palestinians — enduring loss and violence in the aftermath of the Hamas attacks, will never be forgotten.  

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In turbulent times, the world craves moral clarity and a restored sense of stability. Risking public scrutiny, King Charles III and his family have risen to the occasion to shine a light on what is right, just and compassionate. The horrors of the October 7 attack are stark reminders that, though we live in relative peace and security, evil is very much at work remotely. 

In a world filled with complexities and chaos, the British monarchy serves an important purpose in reminding citizens of all civilized nations of our fundamental values, and the necessity to defend them at all costs.  

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