Jerusalem mayor Moshe Leon invited participants of the World Holocaust Forum being held in the capital this week to a “one-of-a-kind” cocktail party with a DJ in a cave underneath the Old City.
Hundreds of official guests coming to Israel this week to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau were invited to an “oriental Jerusalem dinner,” live music and an after-party, according to the invite.
Following the report, the municipality issued a clarification that the event is intended for the press and not the official delegates, and that there won’t be a DJ.
In a statement, the municipality added that the invitation was only a draft one that was leaked to the media, whereas the final version mentions no DJ or an after-party.
The event "is a formal reception," it said, stressing it doesn't fall on the World Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is next Monday. "This is a respectful event … for the foreign press accompanying the leaders' delegations."
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Zedekiah’s Cave, also known as Solomon’s Quarries, is a large artificial cave dug out under the Old City over thousands of years and used for quarrying limestone. The 20,000 square meter cave can hold a large number of people and has been used frequently in recent years for musical and other events. The site is run by the state-owned East Jerusalem Development Company.
The dozens of Holocaust Forum delegations will be arriving in the capital on Tuesday in preparation for the official ceremonies to be held at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center. Among the officials who will be attending the events are Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. Vice president Mike Pence, Prince Charles, as well as the leaders of Germany, Argentina, France and Georgia.
Heavy traffic is expected throughout most of Jerusalem, and elsewhere in Israel, starting on Wednesday – and 11,000 police officers will secure the events, until the delegations leave on Friday.