London’s Muslim Mayor Plans Trip to Israel

(JTA) — Sadiq Khan, who was sworn in as London’s first Muslim mayor last week, reiterated plans to lead a trade delegation to Israel.

In an interview with London’s The Jewish News published Monday, Khan, the first Muslim mayor of any Western capital city and London’s first Labour Party mayor in eight years, also said he believes it is important to improve Jewish-Muslim relations in the UK capital.

During his campaign, Khan criticized Labour for not doing enough to confront anti-Semitism among some of its members. Accusations of anti-Semitism have roiled his party in recent months, with dozens of members suspended in the past few weeks allegedly for making anti-Semitic remarks. London’s former Labour mayor, Ken Livingstone, was suspended for anti-Semitic remarks in late April following a series of interviews in which he claimed that Adolf Hitler had supported Zionism.

A self-described moderate Muslim, Khan took office on Saturday. He attended a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony with British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis the following day in his first official appearance as mayor.

“We’ve got to accept there are some people who say they’re Muslim, some people of the Jewish faith who don’t like the fact I’m here, that I’m sitting next to the chief rabbi,” he told The Jewish News.

“My message to those people is we live in the greatest city in the world and have to go get along. I’m the mayor of London, the most diverse city in the world, and I’ll be everyone’s mayor. No preferential treatment ,but I have a role to build bridges. My signing-in ceremony was deliberately designed to show the sort of a mayor I’ll be and I started as I mean to go on.”

Asked when he will fulfill a campaign promise to visit Israel, Khan said, “I’ve not even had my first Monday at work to be fair, I’ve had six hours sleep since Wednesday. But I’m keen to make sure I’m the most pro-business mayor we’ve ever had and that means going on trade missions, including to Tel Aviv.”

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

London’s Muslim Mayor Plans Trip to Israel

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close