2015 Israel Day Parade in NYC. Photos copyright Gili Getz.
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The Hijacking Of the Pro Israel Community

I was marching as I do every year at the Celebrate Israel parade with the Progressive cluster. Despite a loud and nasty campaign to keep us out of the parade we marched proudly under the banner of New Israel Fund, T’ruah, Partners for Progressive Israel and Americans for Peace Now. Celebrating the inspiring Israeli human rights organizations and the fight in Israel for social and economic justice and the end of the occupation.

2015 Israel Day Parade in NYC. Photos copyright Gili Getz.
2015 Israel Day Parade in NYC. Photos copyright Gili Getz.
2015 Israel Day Parade in NYC. Photos copyright Gili Getz.
2015 Israel Day Parade in NYC. Photos copyright Gili Getz.
And with the exception of a few right wing zealots booing us along the way, we had a great day!
2015 Israel Day Parade in NYC. Photos copyright Gili Getz.
2015 Israel Day Parade in NYC. Photos copyright Gili Getz.
Anyone stumbling on this parade by chance could mistakenly confuse this parade as a peace march. The theme of the parade this year was “Israel imagines”. And so many chose to imagine peace. Many of the t-shirts and banners had doves and slogans of peace. Even right wing organizations like Stand With Us imagined peace.
2015 Israel Day Parade in NYC. Photos copyright Gili Getz.
2015 Israel Day Parade in NYC. Photos copyright Gili Getz.
But in today’s reality the word peace in Israel has become a dirty word. Those who are working to bring peace, and not just imagining it, are easily demonized and marginalized. In reality as Jane Eisner wrote in the Forward: “public display of Israel affection is increasingly the domain of the Orthodox.” In reality the American Jewish outcry against 47 years of occupation is faint.
The best example of this was the IAC Celebrate Israel Festival across town that happened on the same day. The Israeli American Council – IAC launched an unprecedented (long overdue) national effort to organize the Israeli-American community around education and culture. But it is doing so with Sheldon Adelson’s gambling money, so it has a strong political component. In the IAC national conference last year bashing our president was a dominant and popular theme.
Last week the CEO of the IAC found it appropriate to question liberal American Jews and their loyalty and commitment to Israel by telling The Jewish week: “we’re not fully convinced (J Street supporters) are pro-Israel.” Later he told Haaretz  that “We are bipartisan, both left and right.”
Being a liberal and pro Israel is somehow questionable but being conservative is considered “bipartisan.” I hope this is not the future of the pro Israel community.
If the Israeli government won’t be challenged by the American Jewish community it will be impossible to even imagine peace in future parades.
Here are more of my photos from the parade:
BSC_8014 ASC_8461 BSC_7991 BSC_8226 BSC_8599 BSC_8671 ASC_8411 AASC_8166 ASC_8067 ASC_8234 ASC_8266 ASC_8269 ASC_8374 ASC_8530 ASC_8471 BSC_8036
BSC_8733 BSC_7961 ASC_8345 ASC_8329
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7 thoughts on “The Hijacking Of the Pro Israel Community

  1. Last year I noticed that the anti-leftist, anti-gay protestors were trying to cover their faces so all you could see were tzitzit and black hats, but I got a glimpse and could tell that these were Latin-Americans dressing in a costume who must have been paid to pretend to be something that they aren’t. This year it looks like they were less diligent about hiding their payos free faces and un-uniform clothes.

  2. Hurrah to the people in the parade. Let the populace know(especially the right wing Jewish contingency)that the liberal and secular supporters of Israel have a voice and will not be silent by intimidation.Lois Wertheimer

  3. Who the heck is the Jewish Political Action Committee?
    From the photos it looks like the Westboro Baptist Church picked up some day laborers outside a Home Depot, gave them some offensive signs, taleisim and Na-Nach hats, and paid them to stand at the parade. Or am I just being a racist jerk and there is actually a sect of extreme hasidic homophobes out there who just happen to closely resemble (in dress, facial hair styling and physical appearance) working class Latino immigrants?

  4. Why am I not surprised that this fringe, far-left, anti-israel publication is praising pro-BDS organizations (NIF) that are committed to Israel’s destruction.

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