Sun set to shine on Israel parade

By Simon Rocker, May 30, 2013

If the Met Office is to be believed, it will not be raining on the Closer to Israel parade in central London on Sunday.

British Jewry’s biggest solidarity event with Israel for five years, in celebration of the country’s 65th anniversary, will begin outside Hyde Park at midday, followed by a two-hour gathering in Trafalgar Square from 2pm.

“We’ve got 50 communal organisations in the parade, with at least 1,500 participants from right across the community,” said Douglas Krikler, chairman of the planning committee.

Spectators are being encouraged to gather at three viewing points — outside the Ritz Hotel at Green Park, by Eros in Piccadilly Circus and in the Haymarket. A fleet of open-top buses, floats depicting scenes of Israel and the band of the Jewish Lads and Girls Brigade will lead the way, with street entertainers performing along the route.

Harel Skaat, who sang for Israel in the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, is the headline musical act in Trafalgar Square, while speakers will include the Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks, Israel ambassador Daniel Taub and an as yet unnamed UK Cabinet minister.

Mr Krikler said that the Community Security Trust was working hand in hand with police and other agencies to ensure a peaceful event. “We look forward to welcoming record numbers of participants,” he added. “We have even arranged for the sun to shine.”

Last updated: 1:45pm, May 30 2013