Supporters of the Jewish state marched down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan this past Sunday, in the annual Israel Day Parade, the largest demonstration of support for the State of Israel.
Some 35,000 marchers from 200 organizations headed up the avenue, waving Israeli flags and taking pride in the miraculous achievements of 64-year-old Israel.
While the predominant atmosphere of the parade is one marked by ardent support, several organizations and American Jewish community leaders chose to boycott the march due to the presence of organizations supporting the Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions movement.
These organizations were not only in attendance, but received permission from the UJA-Federation and Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) to march in the parade, masquerading as “pro-Israel” and claiming to uphold the country’s most fundamental interests.
Among the organizations that took part was the New Israel Fund (NIF), which has been the benefactor of hundreds of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are keenly committed to de-legitimizing and weakening Israel, economically and strategically, at home and abroad.
Also participating was Meretz USA, which urges a boycott of nine Israeli products on its website, including Ahava cosmetics, as well B’Tselem, whose chairman of the board publicly calls for “effective sanctions,” aimed, primarily, at ostracizing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
The participation of these extreme leftist organizations in the march aroused great anger among pro-Israeli organizations. (Arutz Sheva ran a series of opeds on the controversy. To see the flier distributed to make participants aware of the issue, and to read about it, click here and here. Those who were pro-participation felt that the opportunity for Jewish youth to march for Israel was too important to pass up.)
Rabbi David Algazi, President of the World Committee for the Land of Israel, said, “Are they not ashamed to allow the New Israel Fund to participate in the march? This is a body that supports those who work for the destruction of the State of Israel. This is the exact opposite of the main goal of the march.”
He added, “A true friend of Israel does not work to promote de-legitimization of Israel. The right thing should have been done and the New Israel Fund should have been given one of the two following options: Publicly announce, before the march, that you are against harmful campaigns or do not participate in the march. Traitors must not be allowed to attend the event as if they are friends.”
Following the procession down the middle of New York City, a concert was held in Central Park - the Carl Freyer Tribute and Dr. Manfred Lehmann Memorial event. The concert reaffirmed that there is no place for organizations that promote BDS in the most esteemed demonstration of support for the Jewish homeland.
It was sponsored by various Jewish organizations including Arutz Sheva, The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and The Young Israel. The moving spirit behind the concert are longtime proactive Zionists, Dr. Joseph Frager and Dr. Paul and Drora Brody.
One of the concert’s organizers, longtime activist Odelya Jacobs, said, “We want Israelis to know that they have very broad support in the U.S. There are many entities acting against the State of Israel while disguising themselves as pro-Israeli organizations.”