Jerusalem, 7 May, 2023 (TPS) — Israeli President Isaac Herzog mingled with an array of national leaders, including those from a string of Arab countries, at a reception at Buckingham Palace on the sidelines of King Charles III’s coronation in London this weekend.
Israel’s head of state connected with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Bahrain’s Crown Prince/Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, United Arab Emirates President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Princess Lalla Meryem of Morocco.
Herzog also shook hands with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Omani Crown Prince Theyazin bin Haitham Al Said, whose countries do not have diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.
Charles commended Herzog on his efforts to mediate between Israel’s government and opposition over the proposed overhaul of the judicial system.
The president and his wife, Michal, also met with First Lady Jill Biden, who was representing the United States at the coronation. Michal Herzog spoke with Olena Zelenska, the wife of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Herzog previously met with Charles shortly after becoming president in 2021 and then saw him again at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral last year.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published a statement Saturday night extending “wholehearted congratulations” from him and his wife, Sara, along with “the entire people of Israel” to Charles and his wife, Queen Camilla.
“May it mark the further strengthening of the deep bond between our two nations,” the premier’s missive read.
For the first time in a country where fewer than half of the population now defines themselves as Christian, the coronation ceremony included representatives of the Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh faiths, as well as female clergy.
Britain’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis was invited to spend the night at St. James’s Palace with his wife in order to avoid desecration at the Sabbath-day ceremony. For the same reason, the Herzogs walked to the Westminster Abbey coronation ceremony from a nearby residence.
Charles was anointed with oil from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, a part of the ceremony deemed so sacred it was concealed behind screens.
The King’s grandmother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, is buried in Jerusalem. She is recognized by Yad Vashem as a Righteous Among the Nations for saving a Greek Jewish widow and two of her children.