New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Defense Minister Ya'alon
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Defense Minister Ya'alonAriel Hermoni/Defense Ministry

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio will arrive in Israel on Friday, marking his first official visit to the Jewish state since taking office in January 2014.

According to City Hall, de Blasio will attend the Annual Conference of Mayors in Jerusalem over the weekend and deliver the keynote address there next Sunday. 

De Blasio, Politico reported, is expected to discuss rising anti-Semitism and how cities worldwide must lead the fight against the growing phenomenon of anti-Semitic violence and vandalism. 

The conference, hosted by the American Jewish Congress, American Council for World Jewry and the World Forum of Russian-Speaking Jewry, will, according to the Jewish Insider, bring together dozens of mayors from around the world. 

It follows an initiative the American Jewish Committee launched in July called Mayors United Against Anti-Semitism. 

Speaking at the AJC New York Region annual meeting in June, De Blasio called for an  “unmistakable and consistent” response to anti-Semitism, which he asserted, “is the cancer that never went away. That cancer was not eradicated at the end of World War II.”

De Blasio was scheduled to travel to Israel over the summer telling the New York Times in March that anti-Semitic incidents and terror attacks in Europe had influenced his desire to visit. He was later forced to postpone the visit.