A taste of Tel Aviv in London

Culture festival to hit UK capital in September featuring Infected Mushroom, Dana International and more.

July 18, 2017 17:32
2 minute read.
The Union Flag flies near the Houses of Parliament the day before a general election in central Lond

The Union Flag flies near the Houses of Parliament the day before a general election in central London, Britain June 7, 2017.. (photo credit: REUTERS/CLODAGH KILCOYNE)


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Londoners will get to experience a little slice of Tel Aviv culture this fall when the “TLV in LDN” festival arrives in September.

Some of Israel’s biggest stars will take part in the five-day event, including the band Infected Mushroom, the dance troupe Mayumana, DJ Guy Gerber and more.

Infected Mushroom

Festival representatives would only say the event was organized “through private donations, corporate sponsorship and from the Israeli government.”

The event’s website listed the Israeli Embassy in London in addition to El Al, Bank Leumi, the United Jewish Israel Appeal, the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and more as sponsors.

The events over the five days will be centered on The Roundhouse performing arts hub in the Camden neighborhood, and also take place in Cadogan Hall and the Coronet. The first-of-its-kind festival will feature a two-day celebration of food and drink with Israeli chef Shaul Ben-Aderet participating among its many events.

Acclaimed singer and Eurovision winner Dana International will perform at a Tel Aviv beach party on Friday night, while Arab-Israeli actress and singer Mira Award will talk about her complex dual identity on Saturday.

Singers Ester Rada, A-WA, Mira Maximilian and Awad will perform as part of a “Women Power” concert on Sunday evening.

A public relations representative for the festival said it was possible that protests or demonstrations would take place outside the event, but it wouldn’t prevent any activities from going forward.

“It could be that there will be protests, like there are at everything Israeli that goes on in the world,” the PR representative said. “But we won’t surrender to that and it will take place regardless.”

In April, around 300 protesters gathered outside London’s School of Oriental and African Studies during a speech by Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev. The activists carried signs calling Israel an apartheid state and chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

And in August 2015, the city of Paris held a “Tel Aviv on the Seine” event for one day as part of its week honoring differing beach cities around the world. Amid a heavy police presence, pro-Palestinian protesters gathered next to the event and staged “Gaza on the Seine,” complete with faux bloodstained bodies lying on the beach.

Security will undoubtedly be high at the London festival’s events, especially after the terrorist attack that struck the heart of the city last month. A note on the festival’s website said it was “committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all... and as such you will notice a strong security presence at our events.”

A 2015 report in the UK’s Jewish News said the festival came about after a meeting between Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai and then-London mayor and current Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson almost two years ago.

The PR representative  said she was not yet aware if current London Mayor Sadiq Khan would take part in or acknowledge the festival. “It could be he’ll attend one of the days,” she said, “but nothing is finalized yet.”

In an op-ed he wrote for The Jerusalem Post last month, Khan expressed solidarity with the Jewish community and promised “to fight racism in all its forms and... make challenging the alarming rise in antisemitism in recent years a priority.”

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