UK

Prince Of Wales Warns Of Rising Anti-Semitism

24/06/2013 22:23 BST

The Prince of Wales has warned that the country was suffering from an "apparent rise in anti-Semitism, along with other poisonous and debilitating forms of intolerance".

Charles made the comments in a speech which praised the work of Lord Sacks - the outgoing Chief Rabbi - in promoting the "critical principle" of tolerance.

prince charles lord sacks

Prince Charles described Lord Sacks as a 'brilliant ambassador for Jewish values and ethics'

A number of mosques have been attacked in recent weeks following the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich, London.

Detectives in Walsall launched a major hate crime investigation after a small home-made bomb exploded near a mosque on Friday night.

Charles said: "Running throughout your time as Chief Rabbi has been that all-important principle of which this country has long been an exponent - the principle of tolerance.

"I sometimes fear not enough recognition is given to the role of the faith communities in the life of our country in promoting such a critical principle, and I join with you, in mounting anxiety, at the apparent rise in anti-Semitism, along with other poisonous and debilitating forms of intolerance."

Charles joked that both he and Lord Sacks have reached the official age of retirement, and added: "I do hope yours is going to be a bit more realistic than mine!"

During his speech at the Grosvenor House hotel in central London on Monday, the Prince also commended Lord Sacks for his dedication to helping young people, in particular the Union of Jewish Students.

He continued: "If you add to this the countless international awards you have received, all of them a testament to your role as a brilliant ambassador for Jewish values and ethics, what becomes clear is the scope and depth of a life devoted not only to putting the British Jewish community on the world stage, but to keeping alive the essential importance of faith in an increasingly Godless age."

Recorded tributes from prime minister David Cameron and his predecessors were played on a large screen at the tribute dinner.

Mr Cameron said Lord Sacks had "challenged us to stand up for the place of religion in modern society".

Gordon Brown described him as "one of the greatest thinkers in the world", while Tony Blair said he was "someone who combines huge intellectual gifts, immense human compassion and extraordinary ability".

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby commended his "phenomenal contribution" to public life.

In his speech later, Lord Sacks will describe his 22 years as Chief Rabbi as "the most exciting and fulfilling" of his life.

But he will also issue a warning over the number of Jews who do not have a Jewish marriage, and the growth of so-called ultra-orthodoxy.

He is expected to say: "This is very dangerous, because if there is anti-Semitism or anti-Zionism in the future, who is going to fight it? The Jews who abandon Judaism? Or the Jews who abandon the world? Neither."

He will add: "I want to inspire young Jews throughout the world to believe in and live a Judaism that is tolerant, inclusive, embracing, non-judgmental."