Mark Neyman/GPO/Israel Sun 10-11-2015 Please credit  Mark Neyman/GPO ONLY London's flamboyant Mayor Boris Johnson joined Israeli President Reuven Rivlin for a Jewish-Arab soccer match promoting coexistence in Jerusalem, as part of his tour of Israel to promote investment in London. The pair helped kick off the new soccer season for the "Equalizer" organization, which works with around 140 schools across Israel to build confidence and understanding between Jewish and Arab children. The President and Mayor met with local children and joined in as they held an exhibition friendly match. Before the match, the two conducted a private meeting in which they discussed the importance of coexistence projects - such as Equalizer which was supported by the British Embassy in Israel - and opportunities to deepen cooperation between Israel and the UK. The President and the Mayor of London were then received on the soccer pitch by children aged between 10-12, representing teams from the Jewish school of Geulim, and from the Arab school in Ein Rafa. President Rivlin welcomed the Mayor of London and his delegation, and thanked them for supporting the project. "I am delighted to participate in this initiative, which is supported by the British Embassy, and which works to bring together all the citizens of Israel through sport," Rivlin said. ???? ?????? ???? ?? ??? ?????? ?????? ?????? ????? ???? ??????? ?? ????? "??? ??????" ???? ??????, ????? (????) ??????, ????? ????, ??? ?????, ?"? ????, 10 ???????, ?????? ?????? ???????? ??? ?????? ?????? ?? ????? "??? ??????" ??? ?? ??? ?????? ?????? ????? ?'????? Boris Johnson , ??? ???? ????? ???????? ??????? ?????? ???? ???????. "??? ??????" ???? ???? ????? ????? ???

Boris and Ruvi (center at the back)  with the Jewish and Arab young footballers. Photo credit: Mark Neyman/GPO/Israel 

As sporting comebacks go, Boris Johnson’s football exploits are likely to be regarded as successful after he scored an easy tap-in and avoided injuring any children.

Weeks after he flattened a 10-year-old boy in Tokyo, the London mayor joined in a kickabout with the Israeli president.

Mr Johnson appeared to be reluctant in joining Reuven Rivlin in singing You’ll Never Walk Alone – the anthem of the president’s beloved Liverpool.

But the duo showed they were more in tune with each other on the pitch as Mr Johnson swept home from close range after Mr Rivlin’s shot was saved by a child.

 

Mark Neyman/GPO/Israel Handshakes all round..

Mark Neyman/GPO/Israel Handshakes all round..

The pair visited the Equaliser football project in Jerusalem, which is backed by the British embassy in Israel and seeks to bring Arab and Israeli children together.

They shook hands with the youngsters before briefly getting involved in a kickabout.

While Mr Rivlin displayed some nice touches and looked comfortable on the ball, Mr Johnson adopted a more cautious approach.

He was perhaps mindful of his most recent sporting experience in which he knocked Toki Sekiguchi to the ground during a game of street rugby in Japan.

 

GOAL!  : Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

President Ruvi with hands aloft!  Photo credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

 Speaking before taking to the pitch, Mr Johnson could not resist a dig at his nemesis from Tokyo.

He said: “As members of the British media will know, almost every sporting photo opportunity that involves me and young people ends in disaster of one kind or another – whether it’s playing cricket in India or, as I recently did, trying to play rugby in Japan.

“There was a very small child who got in my way. They said he was 10 years old but I think he must have been about 26. He was much older than that.

“I know that even if something goes wrong today it won’t really matter because the important thing is that this initiative in bringing people together through sport, through football – which teaches them discipline and friendship and self-esteem and how to work as a team, which is in the end it is all about.”

 

Mark Neyman/GPO/Israel Sun 10-11-2015 Please credit  Mark Neyman/GPO ONLY London's flamboyant Mayor Boris Johnson joined Israeli President Reuven Rivlin for a Jewish-Arab soccer match promoting coexistence in Jerusalem, as part of his tour of Israel to promote investment in London. The pair helped kick off the new soccer season for the "Equalizer" organization, which works with around 140 schools across Israel to build confidence and understanding between Jewish and Arab children. The President and Mayor met with local children and joined in as they held an exhibition friendly match. Before the match, the two conducted a private meeting in which they discussed the importance of coexistence projects - such as Equalizer which was supported by the British Embassy in Israel - and opportunities to deepen cooperation between Israel and the UK. The President and the Mayor of London were then received on the soccer pitch by children aged between 10-12, representing teams from the Jewish school of Geulim, and from the Arab school in Ein Rafa. President Rivlin welcomed the Mayor of London and his delegation, and thanked them for supporting the project. "I am delighted to participate in this initiative, which is supported by the British Embassy, and which works to bring together all the citizens of Israel through sport," Rivlin said. ???? ?????? ???? ?? ??? ?????? ?????? ?????? ????? ???? ??????? ?? ????? "??? ??????" ???? ??????, ????? (????) ??????, ????? ????, ??? ?????, ?"? ????, 10 ???????, ?????? ?????? ???????? ??? ?????? ?????? ?? ????? "??? ??????" ??? ?? ??? ?????? ?????? ????? ?'????? Boris Johnson , ??? ???? ????? ???????? ??????? ?????? ???? ???????. "??? ??????" ???? ???? ????? ????? ???

Mark Neyman/GPO/Israel Sun 10-11-2015

Referring to Mr Rivlin, the Conservative MP added: “This is a big Liverpool fan and we love Liverpool in every conceivable way. We love Liverpool Football Club but we also support all London teams.”

Mr Rivlin said: “We recognise London as the shrine of football.”

Mr Johnson replied: “That’s the spirit. Very good.”

The pair held a 30-minute meeting after the event and discussed Mr Rivlin’s view of the peace process and Israel’s relations with the Palestinians.

Syria was also raised along with sport, with the mayor’s office noting Mr Rivlin “professed his love” of English football and London clubs but remained faithful to Liverpool.