Tel Aviv to go to Europe's largest gay parade

Celebrations at a 2008 parade in Tel Aviv

Celebrations at a 2008 parade in Tel Aviv

Israel’s gay community has been invited to take part in Europe’s largest gay parade.

The Tel Aviv Municipality will be the formal guests at the event in Madrid at the beginning of July.

Four representatives of Israel’s gay community, to be chosen via an audition process, will be in the Spanish capital to mark the parade.

There will also be a Tel Aviv themed party featuring Israeli performers and DJs, as well as an appearance by a bus bearing the slogan "TLV Love Embassy".

The collaboration is part of a wider campaign by the Israeli gay community to market the city as a leading destination for gay tourism.

In 2009 Tel Aviv took part in a New York parade and an application has been made for the city to host the international gay pride parade in 2012.

Shai Deutsch, the Israel Gay and Lesbian Association's tourism chief said: “There is no doubt that our presence there, together with the European campaign will contribute to a significant increase in gay tourism in Tel Aviv this coming winter.”

Previous gay pride events in Israel have caused controversy amongst the Orthodox community, with three participants stabbed at an event in 2005.

Last updated: 12:10pm, June 7 2010