London Mayor Sadiq Khan has told the Jewish News/Times of Israel that he will visit Israel as soon as possible.
Khan also spoke about the importance of economic and cultural ties between the capital and Tel Aviv.
Khan said: “To be honest, next year I might be focused on winning re-election in 2020, but as soon as I can I’m going to go.
“I’ve met with the mayors of some of the great cities in Israel in the past, and I’m keen to go whenever I can. I’m keen, if for no other reason, but to reassure the world post-Brexit …we’re going to carry on being open-minded”.
Khan then praised Londoners “working with Israelis, businesses in London working with Israeli businesses. I want that to continue.”
The Mayor also supported furthering cultural links between London and Israel, after having backed the Tel Aviv in London Festival in September 2017. He said “culture is a big area we want to work closely with Tel Aviv with, but also tech as well.”
He added that London can learn “how to be a smart city. I was very impressed by Tel Aviv’s moves to encourage more people to walk and cycle, so there are always things we can learn from each other.”
Sadiq Khan’s seemingly positive view of Israel seems to be out of step with fellow Muslims and even the wider British population.
A survey in 2017 by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research found that:
- 33% of the British population had an unfavourable view of Israel, while only 17% had a favourable view.
- 18% of Britons are sympathetic to the Palestinians while only 6% are sympathetic towards Israel.
- More Britons think that Israel is an Apartheid state than don’t.
- Anti-Israel views are widespread among British Muslims.