Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith

Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith

The frontrunners to become the next mayor of London have expressed support for a major festival celebrating Tel Aviv to be held in the capital next year, writes Justin Cohen

Tory Zac Goldsmith and Labour’s Sadiq Khan spoke months after plans for the festival emerged during Boris Johnson’s visit to Israel. Organisers at the Israeli Embassy’s cultural department hope the multi-day event next year will highlight how the country’s second city has become a hub for the creative arts.

Goldsmith told the Jewish News: “This event is fantastic news for both of our great cities and reemphasises our very close social and economic links. This festival will provide yet another forum for our citizens, businesses and administrations to work together in partnership for our mutual benefit.

“It is absolutely vital that the Mayor of London recognises the significance of our bonds with Tel Aviv and that is why this initiative has my wholehearted support.”

Khan said: “It is great that Tel Aviv, like other cities and countries around the world, is choosing London as its platform to promote its growing status as a cultural hub. It’s another endorsement for London as the best global promotional venue.”

Johnson discussed the issue with his Tel Aviv counterpart in November. He said at the time: “I hope this festival will demonstrate the spirit and diversity of Tel Aviv and showcase London and Tel Aviv as two tolerant and vibrant cities.”