Israel's President Isaac Herzog heads to London on official visit

Herzog's paternal grandparents on both sides spent many years in Britain, and he still has relatives there.

 President Isaac Herzog speaks at the ceremony in honor of outgoing leader of the Shin Bet, Nadav Argaman. (photo credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO, SHIN BET)
President Isaac Herzog speaks at the ceremony in honor of outgoing leader of the Shin Bet, Nadav Argaman.
(photo credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO, SHIN BET)

President Isaac Herzog and his wife, Michal, will begin an official visit to the United Kingdom on Sunday, primarily for a memorial dinner hosted by the Genesis Prize Foundation in tribute to the late Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, who died a year ago.

The dinner will be attended by leaders of the British Jewish community as well as by senior past and present government officials.

During the visit, Herzog will meet with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, members of Parliament and other dignitaries.

Herzog said this week that he is delighted to be paying an official visit to the United Kingdom as president of the State of Israel. As Britain carves out a new independent role for itself in the world, he said, the State of Israel is one of its most dependable allies, on the front lines of innovation and progress.

In many ways, he added, the visit will be by way of a homecoming for him as the son of a Second World War British Army major.

Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich holding a sign the club's ''Say No to Antisemitism'' campaign. (credit: CHELSEA FC/COURTESY)Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich holding a sign the club's ''Say No to Antisemitism'' campaign. (credit: CHELSEA FC/COURTESY)

Herzog’s paternal grandparents on both sides spent many years in Britain, and he still has relatives there.

While in London, Herzog and his wife will also view a special exhibition hosted by the Chelsea Football Club owned by philanthropist Roman Abramovich. The exhibition, under the title of “49 Flames,” is dedicated to Jewish Olympic athletes murdered during the Holocaust, and is part of Chelsea FC’s ongoing battle against antisemitism and its commitment to preserve the memory of the Holocaust.