The new Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has met the Israeli ambassador to the UK Mark Regev during his first public engagement.
The pair posed together as Khan attended the national Yom HaShoah ceremony yesterday at the Barnet Copthall Stadium in north London.
Regev is a notorious apologist for Israeli war crimes.
Speaking afterwards to the Jewish Chronicle, Khan said he had felt “privileged” to be there, adding: “I want to be Mayor for all Londoners and there are Londoners who are Holocaust survivors. They want a Mayor who understands the horrors of the Holocaust. And it’s important for me as the Mayor to reflect on that, and to be educated on it as well.”
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev and 200 survivors, veterans and refugees were also at the ceremony.
Regev said that “preserving the memory of the Holocaust is more important today than ever before.
“Jews are still being vilifed and targeted just for being Jews, in the Middle East and in the heart of the West. Israel is being targeted with the same slurs that have been thrown at Jews for time immemorial.
“Friends, this crazy obsession with the Jewish people and their state has a name – it’s called antisemitism. But we are no longer a stateless people searching for a safe haven, no longer powerless. We are sovereign.”
The Mayor of Tel Aviv has also written to Sadiq Khan congratulating him on his election success and inviting him to visit Israel.
Mr Huldia said he was “most pleased” with the new mayor’s commitment to being an “uncompromising voice against antisemitism” during his campaign.
In a letter to Mr Khan he said: “Over the past few years, our two cities developed strong ties in the field of start up, economic development, culture, art, and urban practices.
“The deep relationship between my administration and London’s municipality is highly appreciated, and I am sure that this relationship will deepen even further during your term.”