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Hundreds of Thousands Gather in NY to Support Israel

Among the hundreds of thousands who marched in the annual Salute to Israel Day Parade in NY, some 20,000 attended a Central Park concert to support the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria.
By Alex Traiman
First Publish: 6/6/2006, 2:53 PM / Last Update: 6/6/2006, 1:51 AM

The parade, possibly the largest gathering of Jews in the world each year, saw over 100,000 marching up New York City’s Fifth Avenue. The parade featured marching bands, floats, politicians, and countless Israeli flags lined the street for the other 100,000-plus spectators.

During and following the parade, an estimated 20,000 continued over the course of the day into the standing room-only Summerstage concert venue in Central Park, immediately adjacent to the parade route. Spectators there were treated to the annual Israel Day Concert which traditionally supports right-wing Jewish causes.
IsraelNationalRadio's Tovia Singer and Alex Traiman broadcast the five hour concert for Arutz Sheva. The concert can be heard on demand at www.IsraelNationalRadio.com.

The concert was broadcast live on Arutz Sheva’s IsraelNationalRadio, hosted by Tovia Singer and Alex Traiman for nearly five hours with analysis and more. The entire concert can be heard on demand at IsraelNationalRadio.com.

The concert’s theme was to support the Jewish communities in the Biblical provinces of Judea and Samaria, which are now threatened under Ehud Olmert’s proposed "realignment" plan. The controversial plan calls for the forced expulsion of nearly 100,000 Jews living in the regions, and the destruction of dozens of established communities.

Guest speakers from Israel and the United States read carefully-composed messages slamming the notion of abandoning Judaism’s holiest cities for the creation of a Hamas terror state. Speakers included Zionist Organization of America President Morton Klein, parade founder Carl Freyer, and former Gush Katif resident-turned-refugee Dror Vanunu.
Tens of thousands gathered at New York City Central Park's Summerstage for a Judea and Samaria solidarity concert.

The concert is organized each year by Dr. Joseph Frager, and this year’s annual gathering was created solely to promote the following points:
  • YES to democracy and freedom!
  • NO to the surrender of any part of Israel!
  • NO to the expulsion of Jews from Judea and Samaria!
  • NO to a PLO/Hamas Terrorist State!

Dr. Frager noted the importance of such a politically-motivated event, in contrast to the parade which claims to be unbiased, even though several right-wing organizations are not permitted to march.

“It is important that the world and Israel see that Jews in North America generally do not support Ehud Olmert’s proposed disengagement,” Frager said. “We’ve got to do everything we can to prevent this planned atrocity."
Israel National Radio's broadcast booth at Israel Day Concert. The live broadcast is archived at IsraelNationalRadio.com

“Last year we gathered in support of the residents of Gush Katif. And although that expulsion went through, we are still confident that we can work to prevent any further withdrawals,” Frager added.

In addition to the political messages, spectators were treated to some of the best in Jewish and Israeli music. Performances included Israeli sensation Aaron Raziel, Shlomo Katz, Yoni Shlomo, Baruch Abittan, Except Saturday and Blue Fringe. Shloime Dachs performed as well, as his orchestra provided accompaniment for all of the solo performers.

Though the message of the concert was serious, the atmosphere was joyous, filled with the spirit of young and old alike.