Children participate in the Celebrate Israel parade in New York, Sunday, June 3, 2012. Thousands of Israel boosters waved blue and white flags as they marched up Fifth Avenue on Sunday for the annual Celebrate Israel parade. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Thousands of Israel supporters took to Fifth Avenue Sunday for the annual Celebrate Israel Parade, marking Israel’s 64th anniversary, including New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Senator Charles Schumer. NY1 reports:
Organizers call the parade the world’s largest public gathering to celebrate Israel, and many city and state officials took part.
“Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. We have the right to practice our religion and say what we want to say because young men and women have always answered the call, and that’s true in Israel and true in America,” said Bloomberg.
“Israel faces probably the greatest threat she has ever faced, which is a nuclear Iran,” said Schumer. “And today we are urging all of the western powers, including our own government, not to budge on the sanctions until Iran fully gives up nuclear weapons.”
Last week, The Blaze reported on complaints that progressive groups, including the New Israel Fund (NIF), who have in the past supported or funded organizations promoting boycott Israel efforts had planned to march in the parade. This is just the latest chapter in the larger debate within the Jewish community over what constitutes support of Israel, and how far one can go in criticizing the policies of Israel’s democratically elected government and still be considered an Israel supporter.