(March 6, 2023 / JNS) In his memoir, Spare, Prince Harry accused brother Prince William—heir apparent of the British throne—and sister-in-law Princess Kate of recommending that he don a Nazi costume, which he called “one of the biggest mistakes in my life.” On Saturday, he seemed to have made another mistake of an antisemitic ilk.
The Duke of Sussex, currently living in self-imposed exile in California with his wife, Meghan Markle, had an “intimate conversation” with physician and author Gabor Maté about “living with loss and the importance of personal healing,” according to his site. Recordings were forbidden for the live virtual event, which was sponsored by Random House, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones and Indigo Books & Music.
“Problem is,” TMZ reported, “Maté has previously compared Hamas to heroic Jews who fought the Nazis in Warsaw, Poland, during World War II,” and the prince’s fellow intimate conversationalist “also labeled Israel’s leaders as terrorists.” (Dr. Maté, who is of Hungarian Jewish descent, lost family members in the Holocaust.)
“There is no understanding Gaza out of context—Hamas rockets or unjustifiable terrorist attacks on civilians—and that context is the longest ongoing ethnic cleansing operation in the recent and present centuries, the ongoing attempt to destroy Palestinian nationhood,” Dr. Maté wrote in the Toronto Star in 2014. “The Palestinians use tunnels? So did my heroes, the poorly armed fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto.”
In 2021, he added that Hamas was “nothing compared to the terrorism of the Israeli government,” per the Jewish Chronicle.
Random House, Waterstones and Indigo did not respond to a weekend query from JNS.
Barnes & Noble stated: “The conversation between Prince Harry and Dr. Maté did take place on Saturday. Dr. Maté was qualified to hold this conversation as a renowned expert on trauma and loss. His pioneering work resulted in his receipt of the Order of Canada in 2018, amongst other honors. The discussion was by general consensus a fascinating one and was very well received.”
JNS asked if Barnes & Noble believes—with antisemitism surging reportedly— that comparing Hamas, which Foggy Bottom declares a terrorist group, to Jews who fought Nazis and calling Israel’s leaders terrorists is acceptable, or if it disputes that Dr. Maté made those statements. Barnes and Noble did not respond.
“Whoever made the arrangements to have this individual appear with Prince Harry did him no favors. If Prince Harry knew this man’s record and still chose him for the interview, our center would criticize the prince for such an inappropriate choice,” Abraham Cooper, a rabbi and associate dean at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Jewish Chronicle.
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